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Edited by L. H. Bailey 

The Soil. King. 

The Spraying of Plants. Lodeman. 

Milk and Its Products. Wing. Enlarged and Revised. 

The Fertility of the Land. Roberts. 

The Principles of Fruit-growing. Bailey. 20th Edition, 

Bush-fruits. Card. Revised. 
Fertilizers. Voorhees. Revised. 
The Principles of Agriculture. Bailey. Revised. 
Irrigation and Drainage. King. 
The Farmstead. RoJjerts. 
Rural Wealth and Welfare. Fairchild. 
The Principles of Vegetable-Gardening. Bailey, Revised. 
Farm Poultry. Watson, Enlarged and Revised. 
The Feeding of Animals. Jordan. (Now Rural 

The Farmer^s Business Handbook. Rol^erts. 
The Diseases of Animals. Mayo. 
The Horse. Roberts. 
How TO Choose a Farm. Hunt. 
Forage Crops. Voorhees. 

Bacteria in Relation to Country Life. Lipman. 
The Nursery-book. Bailey. (Now Rural Manual Series.) 
Plant-breeding. Bailey and Gilbert. Revised. 
The Forcing-book. Bailey. 

The Pruning-book. Bailey. (Now Rural Manual Series.) 
Fruit-growing in Arid Regions. Paddock and Whipple. 
Rural Hygiene. Ogden. 
Dry-farming. Widtsoe. 

Law for the American Farmer. Green. Etvlarged Edition. 
Farm Boys and Girls. McKeever. 
The Training ajnd Breaking of Horses. Harper, 
Sheep-farming in North America. Craig. 
Cooperation in Agriculture. Poicell. 
The Farm Woodlot. Cheyney and Wentling. 
Household Lnsects. Herrick. 
Citrus Fruits. Coit. 

Principles of Rural Credits. Morman. 
Beekeeping. Phillips. 

Subtropical Vegetable Gardening. Rolfs. 
Turf for Golf Courses. Piper and Oakley. 
The Potato. Gilbert. 
Strawberry-growing, Fletcher. 
Western Live-stock Management. Porter, 
Peach-growing. Gould. 
The Sugar-beet in America. Harris. 
Pork-production. Smith. 
The Development of Institutions Under Irrigation. 

Landscape-gardening. Simonds. 
Commercial Apple Industry in North America. Folger 

and Thomson. 
The Sweet Potato. Hand and Cockerham. 
Farm Credits in the United States and Canada. 

Pecan-Growing, Stuckey and Kyle. 

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The commercial growing of pecans in the United States is 
comparatively a new industry. Dependable pecan literature 
is notably scarce, except as it appears in bulletins of the United 
States Department of Agriculture, southern experiment sta- 
tions and other state institutions, in proceedings of nut-grow- 
ers associations, and in nut journals. 

In preparing this book an effort has been made to include 
the latest summary results of scientific investigations on pecan- 
growing. A large part of the material has never been pub- 
lished before. In addition, the important practical phases of 
the work, including the latest methods and practices of pecan- 
growing, have been emphasized. Consequently, it is hoped 
that this volume will be useful not only to students, instruc- 
tors, and investigators in pecan culture, but also to the grow- 
ers, amateurs, and others interested in the subject. 

The amount of detail in some of the chapters will lack inter- 
est to the experienced pecan-grower; but the authors' con- 
ception of the book, based on a rather wide experience gained 
from field observations, personal contact, and correspondence, 
leads them to think that this is necessary to make the book 
serve its greatest purpose. 

It is difficult to acknowledge full credit for all the assistance 
received. Due acknowledgement is made of illustrations 
loaned by the United States Department of Agriculture, and 
by a number of the state institutions. The journals and other 

vi Pecan-Growing 

publications have been freely drawn on, and assistance has 
been received from a miniber of teachers and investigators. 

Dr. B. W. Hunt, of Eatonton, Georgia, in addition to supply- 
ing much of the historical data, has been an inspiration in the 
preparation of the entire volume. Dr. J. J. Skinner, Bio- 
chemist, Soil Fertility Investigations, Bureau of Plant In- 
dustry, United States Department of Agriculture; Dr. T. H. 
McHatton, Horticulturist, State College of Agriculture, Uni- 
versity of Georgia ; Dr. S. W. Bilsing, Professor of Entomol- 
ogy; Dr. G. S. Fraps, State Chemist, Agricultural and Me- 
chanical College of Texas, and Prof. W. F. Turner, Assistant 
Georgia State Entomologist, gave helpful suggestions in the 
preparation of the manuscript. 

In literature the terms ^^ pecan groves" and '^ pecan 
orchards" are used more or less synonymously or at least in- 
terchangeably. This is probably due to the fact that when 
pecan nuts began to receive attention in the native forests, the 
underbrush and other species of trees were cleared away just 
before harvest time so as to facilitate the work of gathering 
the nuts. Such groups of pecan trees were very properly 
spoken of as groves. 

H. E. Van Deman, at the third annual convention of the 
National Nut Growers Association in 1904, made the distinc- 
tion between ^^ pecan groves" and '^ pecan orchards" by des- 
ignating those trees set in their natural position by nature as 
''groves" and those planted in definite form, by man, as 
''orchards." In other words, nature plants groves and man 
sets orchards. The term ''grove," however, has followed the 
pecan industry, and today is frequently used interchange- 
ably with "orchard" even when applied to plantings made in 
definite form by man. 

Preface and Explanation vii 

The term ^ ^ paper-sheir ' is most commonly used for im- 
proved or commercial varieties of pecans. The two rather 
broad divisions of pecans are ^^paper-shell/' meaning the im- 
proved varieties, and ''seedling/' including the large supply 
of nuts in the trade coming mostly from native seedling trees. 

The original intent of the term ' ' paper-sheir ' was to signify 
a variety of pecans having a very thin shell, as the Schley or 
the Frotscher. If the original meaning was adhered to, such 
commercial varieties as the Stuart, Pabst, and Mone;^Tnaker, 
which have rather thick shells, could not be included. Quality, 
however, is as important as thinness of shell, and these, to- 
gether with very thin-shelled varieties, as the Schley, Frot- 
scher, San Saba, and Haven, are called ''paper-sheir' pecans. 
The term is really a misnomer, since it applies to commercial 
value rather than to thinness of shell. It would seem advisable 
that growers and nurserymen, in dealing with their trade, 
specify varieties rather than employ the term ''paper-shell.'' 
As a result the general public, through the regular channels of 
trade, would be compelled to standardize pecans in some 
definite way. 

The Authors. 



Geography aivd Commercial Importance of the Pecan . 1-17 

Cultural range of the pecan 2-9 

Commercial Importance of the pecan 9-11 


History of Pecan-Growing 12-24 


Pecan Seedlings and Care of the Native Grove . . . 25-31 

Care of the native groves 26-27 

Seedlings planted by man 27-28 

Improved varieties from seedlings 28-31 


Propagation of the Pecan 32-75 

Growing seedling stock for budding and grafting . . . 32-41 

Top-working pecan trees 42 

Patch-bud 51-59 

Chip-bud 60-63 

Bark-grafting 63-68 

Whip-grafting 68-69 

Shipping budwood . . 69-70 

Budding tools 70-71 

Grafting-waxes 72-75 


Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 76-97 

Soil types suitable for pecans 78-82 

Fertilizers for pecans 82 

The use of cover-crops 83-88 

Commercial fertilizers 88-90 

Fertilizer experiments 90-94 

Fertilizer mixtures for pecans 94-97 


Pollination of Pecans 98-105 


X Contents 



Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 106-121 

Location of the orchard 106-107 

Preparation for planting 107-108 

Laying out the orchard 108-111 

Setting the trees 112-114 

Protecting young orchard trees 114 

Pruning 115 

Cultivating the orchard 115-121 


Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 122-137 

Packages for pecan nuts 125-126 

Grading pecans 126-130 

Pecan yields 130-137 


Commercial Crackeries and Storage of Pecans .... 138-144 

Soaking pecans for cracking 139-140 

Hand nut-crackers 140-141 

Cost of shelling pecans 141-142 

Storing pecans 142-144 


Marketing Pecans 145-160 

Cooperative marketing organizations 146-160 

Organization by commodity 148-149 

Standardization of commodity 149-151 

Membership contracts 151-152 

Government of a cooperative association 152 

Finances 152-153 

The National Pecan Growers' Exchange 153-160 


Insects Attacking the Pecan 161-181 

Pecan leaf case-bearer 162-165 

Pecan nut case-bearer 165-168 

Pecan bud-moth 168-170 

Pecan shuck-worm 170-172 

Pecan weevil 172-173 

Pecan cigar case-bearer 173 

Fall webworm 174 

Pecan or walnut caterpillar 174-175 

Twig-girdler 175-176 

Borers 177 

Contents xi 


**Wood-lice" or termites 177-178 

June-bugs 178-179 

Red-shouldered shot-hole borer 179 

Scale insects 179 

Green stink bug 180-181 


Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 182-197 

Pecan scab 182-185 

Pecan rosette 185-188 

Pecan diel)ack 188 

Nursery blight 189-190 

Pecan brown leaf -spot 190-191 

Powdery -iiiildew 191 

Anthracnose 191-192 

Pecan catkin disease 192-193 

Crown-gall 193 

Pecan black-pit 193-194 

Wood-rotting fungi 194 

Tip-burn and winter-injury 194-195 

Spray outfits and methods of spraying pecan orchards . 195-197 


Utilization of the Pecan 198-214 

Food value of pecans 199-203 

Type of protein in pecans 203-204 

Pecan oil 204-205 

Carbohydrates of the pecan 205-207 

Pecan recipes 207-214 


Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 215-228 
Varieties of pecans 221-228 


I. A well-developed pecan orchard Frontispiece 


II. Grave of Ex-Governor James Stephen Hogg, Austin, 
Texas, showing pecan and walnut trees which were 
planted to carry out his wish 22 

III. Above, native Texas pecan grove with underbrush cleared. 

Below, adjacent grove in virgin state 40 

TV. Pecan nursery trees ready to be dug for transplanting 

to the orchard as soon as frost comes 60 

V. Truck crops in young pecan orchard with cleanly culti- 
vated strip on each side of tree rows 78 

VI. Cotton cultivated between pecan tree rows .... 94 

VII. Harvesting pecans 112 

VIII. A modern pecan-grader 130 

IX. Above, young pecan nuts attacked by the larvae of the nut 
case-bearer. Below, left, leaf case-bearer. Below, 
right, adult beetle of flat-head tree-borer .... 146 

X. Above, pecan nuts infected by scab. Below, the pecan 

weevil 164 

XI. Spraying pecan trees 184 

XII. Above, catkins or flower-clusters of pecans. Below, meats 

of pecans, showing kernel-spot 206 





The pecan is indigenous only to certain sections of the 
United States and Mexico. It is not native in any other coun- 
try in the world. 

In the United States, the species is indigenous throughout 
most of the valley of the Mississippi and its principal tribu- 
taries, especially on the lowlands along the river and creek 
bottoms. Farther west, it is found along most of the important 
rivers in Texas and Oklahoma. In Mexico, in the northern 
and central parts, the pecan is native over a considerable 
area. Very little is known of this section, except that it ex- 
ports annually from one to four million pounds of inferior 
pecans into the United States. 

In the main valley of the Mississippi, the pecan is native as 
far north as Davenport, Iowa ; in the valley of the Ohio as far 
north as Covington, Kentucky, and in the valley of the Wa- 
])ash as far north as Terre Haute, Indiana. In this northern 
belt is located one of the largest solid blocks of native pecan 
trees in the United States. It is at the mouth of Green River, 
on the banks of the Ohio, in Henderson County, Kentucky. 
There are between 300 and 400 acres of a solid stand of wild 
pecan trees with only an occasional swamp maple or hack- 
berry scattered here and there. A number of these trees are 
sixteen feet in circumference and over 150 feet high. On both 


2 Pecan-Growing 

sides of the Wabash Kiver there are a number of unns-aally 
large native pecan trees. 

In Texas, Avhere the greater part of the native trees are 
found, with the exception of the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers, 
the pecan is distributed in gi^eat abundance along most of the 
principal streams and their tributaries, including the Red, 
Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, San Antonio, Guadalupe, and 
Devil's Rivers. Of these, the Colorado and its tributaries are 
by far the most important, both in the number of trees and in 
production of nuts. In the eighteen pecan-producing counties 
bordered or passed through by this river, there are estimated 
to be over five million native pecan trees which in 1919 pro- 
duced 5,219,242 pounds of nuts. Along the streams in w^est 
Texas, the native pecan timber usually ends abruptly with 
the termination of the alluvial soil. As the valleys are mostly 
narrow, the pecan timber is seldom found more than a few 
hundred feet from a running stream. Even in the regions of 
abundant rainfall native trees seldom grow on uplands, except 
in protected places where deep rich soil has been collected. 

The sections in the United States in which the pecan is 
indigenous are shown in Fig. 1. This area includes all or 
portions of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Okla- 
homa, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, and Texas. The general impression that the pecan 
is indigenous to all the southern states is not correct, for it is 
not native to Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Caro- 
lina, or Virginia. 


The cultural range of the pecan, as is usual with most fruits 
and nuts, is much larger than its native habitat. Pecans have 

Geography and Commercial hnportance of the Pecan 3 

Native rang-e repre 
sented by lines from 
northwest to southeast. 
Heavy shading- indicates de- 
g-ree of commercial plantings 
outside of native range. 

Figure 1. — Showing the range of the pecan. 

been planted and thrive from the Atlantic coast to the western 
part of Iowa, Oklahoma, and west Texas, from the forty-third 
parallel on the north to the Gulf on the south. In addition, 
successful trial plantings have been made in the Pacific states, 
especially California. 

This area, east of the Rockies, can be divided into four belts, 
the northern, middle, southern, and western, according to the 
type of pecan varieties that will thrive therein. P. T. Little- 
page of Washington, and Meredith Reed of Vincennes, In- 
diana, worked out the approximate boundaries of the north- 
ern, middle, and southern belts. They made a careful study 
of the native pecan trees in their habitat from Indiana through 
Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee, to Alabama and the Gulf 
coast. They found that the trees on the Gulf coast differed 
radically from the northern pecan, while those in Missouri, 

4 Pecan-Growing 

Arkansas, and Tennessee differed somewhat from both. The 
material difference in all three cases was in the length of the 
growing period, the Gulf coast trees requiring from 270 to 
290 days to mature their fruit and the northern pecans from 
170 to 190, while the middle belt needed from 180 to 200 days. 
Consequently, only those regions having a growing season of 
270 to 290 days are adaptable to the Gulf coast varieties such 
as the Schley, Stuart, Delmas, and Frotscher. Those sections 
with a growing season of 180 to 200 days are suited to the 
Evansville group, such as Major, Greenriver, Kentuck;^", and 
Warrick. Those localities that have a growing season of 170 
to 190 days are adapted to the northern pecans, such as the 
Posey, Butterick, Indiana, Busseron, and Niblack. 

The approximate northern limits for the southern belt run 
from Wilmington, North Carolina, westerly about fifty miles 
north of Augusta and through Atlanta, Georgia and Birming- 
ham, Alabama, bearing on southwest almost to Jackson, 
Mississippi, thence northward, crossing the Mississippi in the 
vicinity of the twenty-fourth parallel, continuing on through 
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and McAlester, Oklahoma. The depth 
of this area is about one hundred miles on the eastern side, but 
gradually increases until a distance of from three to four 
hundred miles from the coast is reached in Arkansas, Okla- 
homa, and central Texas. 

With the exception of a few orchards in western Texas, all 
of the large commercial plantings have been confined to the 
southern belt. A number of these orchards contain from 2,000 
to 5,000 acres. The states ranked according to the number of 
orchards planted to improved varieties are Georgia, Florida, 
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, and 
Oklahoma. The position of the states, according to the num- 

Geography and Coiiwiercial hnportance of the Pecan 5 

ber of native seedling trees, is Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, 
Mississippi, and Alabama. It is interesting that Georgia and 
Florida, where the pecan is not indigenous, rank first and 
second in the planting of commercial orchards to improved 
varieties, while Texas and Oklahoma, standing first and second 
in native seedlings, are seventh and eighth in the list of those 
states planting orchards to improved varieties. 

In the southeastern states, the nuts of the Gulf coast varie- 
ties decrease in size as the plantings advance northward 
through the piedmont country and approach the Appalachian 

The approximate northern limits for the middle belt run 
from Newport, Ehode Island, southward almost to Asheville, 
North Carolina, coming around the Cumberland Mountains, 
bearing almost due north to Louisville, Kentucky, on through 
Vincennes, Indiana and Bellevue, Illinois, thence northward, 
crossing the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri, and dropping 
southward around the Ozarks in southern Missouri, and again 
northward through Moberly and St. Joseph, and on southwest 
in a line mth Sante Fe, New Mexico. This belt includes north 
Georgia, north Alabama, north Mississippi, the upper pied- 
mont South Carolina, piedmont North Carolina, coastal Vir- 
ginia, as well as Tennessee, western Kentucky, southern Illi- 
nois, southern Indiana, and southern and middle Missouri. 
Commercial plantings here and there indicate that the pecan 
industry could be developed commercially if the proper varie- 
ties were selected. There is a pressing need for experimental 
work in breeding better varieties for this region. 

The approximate limits of the northern belt for pecans run 
from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, almost south to Cumber- 
land, Maryland, turning northward through Pittsburgh and 

6 Pecan-Growing 

Bradford, Pennsylvania, Auburn, Syracuse, and Watertown, 
New York, skirting the northern shore of Ontario, through 
Detroit, dipping down to the northern edge of Indiana, thence 
back to the forty-third parallel through Grand Rapids and 
Milwaukee, bearing a southwesterly direction in a line with 
Trinidad, Colorado. This belt embraces a large section of the 
Middle AVest. While this region will never, in all probability, 
be used for large commercial growing of pecans, plantings for 
home orchards and ornamental purposes are ad\dsable. 

The western belt, which is embraced in west Texas, is in a 
class by itself. Its physical conformation and semi-arid 
climate give conditions for pecan-growing s;omewhat different 
from those in the other belts. East Texas belongs to the south- 
ern belt, and the Gulf coast varieties thrive there. However, 
in the western pecan section of Texas, varieties that originated 
in that semi-arid climate, such as Burkett, Halbert, Oliver, 
San Saba, Onliwon, Texas Prolific, and Western Schley, seem 
to grow best. Central Texas shades from the southern belt on 
the east to the western belt as it approaches the ranges of hills 
on the west. A large percentage of the pecans that Texas 
furnishes the world come from the western belt. There 
are eighty-one pecan-producing counties in this belt. Rising 
in Young and Jackson counties and extending southward to 
San Antonio are broad ranges of hills often having the dignity 
of the term mountain. It is in the little valleys between these 
hills that the pecan delights to grow. Here the soil is very 
rich and of great depth, having been built up for thousands 
of years by erosion from the mountains. The altitude is from 
800 to 2,500 feet and the annual rainfall from 18 to 30 inches. 
The trees are low in stature with short intemodes and low 
branching heads. 

Geography and Commercial Importance of the Pecan 7 

A comparison of the eighty-one counties in the western 
belt with eighty-one pecan-prodncing counties east of the line 
will give some idea of the great adaptability of the former 
to pecan-growing. The altitude in the main producing area 
east of the line ranges from about 50 feet to near 800, and the 
rainfall from 35 to 50 inches. (1) There are no counties east 
of the line that produce over 200,000 pounds. (2) There are 
twenty-six counties west of the line that show a production 
of over 200,000 pounds, one of which yielded 1,290,000 pounds. 
(3) The total output of the eastern counties was 3,359,729 
pounds, while that of the counties west of the line was 13,432,^ 
714 pounds. The census report gives considerably more native 
trees west of the line than east. Undoubtedly this apparent 
difference is greatly exaggerated, because many persons in 
eastern Texas fail to report their native trees as they do not 
consider them of any commercial value. There is little doubt 
also that the total of native trees given in the census report is 
far below the actual number to be found in the state. For 
example, the census report gives only 1,412 trees for Brazos 
County, though 14,000 would be more nearly correct. Even 
the total yield of nuts as sho^m by the census report is far 
below the actual production because of the very crude way 
of gathering the pecans. 

In Texas, the type of the native pecan seedling varies with 
the altitude and rainfall. Along the streams near the coast 
where the altitude is low, only a few feet above the sea level, 
and where the rainfall is hea^y, often exceeding 50 inches, 
the tree is tall and slender in comparison with the spread of 
its top. The bark is smooth and light in color. The branches 
are few, strong, and straight, and the foliage thick and heavy. 
Crop failures are frequent and the nuts are small. In regions 

8 Pecan-Growing 

in which the altitude is high, from 1,500 to 2,000 feet above 
the sea level, and the rainfall low, from 18 to 25 inches, the 
tree is not so tall and the top is more spreading; the bark is 
rough, the branches are more numerous, slender and willowy, 
and the foliage is a light green color. As the altitude increases 
and the rainfall decreases, a larger percentage of the trees 
produce annual crops of nuts. The nuts are larger and the 
crop failures are less frequent until the altitude becomes over 
2,000 feet and the rainfall less than 20 inches, when the crops 
become less certain and the nuts smaller. It is evident that, 
as far as the native trees are concerned, the most regular and 
the largest yields and the best nuts are secured where the 
altitude is from 1,000 to 1,800 feet, with the annual rainfall 
from 20 to 30 inches. 

Eecords compiled over a series of years show that the 
size of the nut is markedly influenced by the seasonal 
conditions. The size and weight of Texas native seedlings 
are often reduced to one-fourth or one-third of normal by 
protracted drought. Dry weather affected very similarly a 
number of named varieties that were under observation in 
Georgia. In addition to reducing the size of the nuts, ex- 
tremely dry weather has a tendency to shorten the axes or 
length out of proportion to the thickness of the nut. Records 
from the Georgia Experiment Station show that the growing 
seasons of 1911 and 1914 were extremely dry, while those of 
1912 and 1913 were normally moist. As a result, the axes 
of the nuts grown during the two dry years were much shorter 
than those of the pecans yielded in the normally moist seasons 
on the same trees. The thickness of the nuts was not mate- 
rially affected by dry weather. This seasonal influence was 

Geography and Commercial Importance of the Pecan 9 

especially pronounced on the Moneymaker and Russell No. 3 


The pecan does not rank very high in the United States in 
commercial importance when contrasted with some of the older 
and more important horticultural crops. However, when com- 
pared with other nuts its ranking is exceptional, especially 
w^hen one takes into consideration the limited time it has 
been under cultivation. 

It is significant that the native pecans are more valuable 
and require less expense to growers to produce and harvest 
than any other wild or uncultivated horticultural crop. In 
addition, thousands of acres planted to improved varieties 
now coming into bearing will within the next decade compete 
strongly with the native product even on a basis of tonnage. 
The commercial status of the pecan may be seen from a study 
of the following tables taken from the United States Census 
report for 1920 : 


Total Xut Pkoduction ix United States 


1909 1919 

Almouds 6.793,539 15.852,965 

Pecans 9,S90,769 31.S0S.54S 

Walnuts 22.026.524 59,840.470 

This table shows that the pecan easily ranks next to the 
walnut in commercial importance, and that it is gaining on 
that important nut. 

Table II gives the imports of nuts into the United States. 
These figures clearly indicate that there is little danger of 
serious foreign competition in the domestic market for pecans. 

10 Pecan-Growing 


Imports of Nuts 


Almonds— 1919 1920 1921 

Not shelled 7,482,538 6,703,181 4,402,271 

Shelled 28,007,908 18,150,678 20,873.872 

Cream or Brazil 43,076,348 13,998,138 40,539,897 


Not shelled 16,747,304 14,095,930 14,729,108 

Shelled : 3,778,986 5,034,009 3,854,169 

Marrons, crude 5,012,194 29,480,008 23,340,988 

Palm and palm nut, kernels. . . 5,613,056 8,329,034 230,194 

Walnuts — 

Not shelled 21,235,078 16,072,807 33,414,118 

Shelled 10,260,899 15,818,025 13,330,600 

Total Imports in Dollars 

$57,510,164 $59,559,019 $36,501,682 

The unshelled pecan is still practically unknown in most 
large domestic markets, while it is not found on any of the 
world markets outside of America. It is, therefore, evident 
that the opportunity for the development of new markets is 
almost unlimited, especially when one considers that the pecan 
has been more than able to hold its own whenever and wher- 
ever brought into open competition with other nuts. 


Production of Pecan Nuts in Pounds for 1909 and 1919 

1909 1919 

Texas 5,832,367 16,755,421 

Oklahoma 894,172 4,297,752 

Georgia 354,046 2,544,377 

Louisiana 723,578 2,242,859 

Mississippi 637,293 1,599,245 

Alabama 228,341 1,179,735 

Florida 307,632 1,025,673 

Geography and Commercial Importance of the Pecan 11 

TABLE 111— Continued 

1909 1919 

South Carolina 159.823 525 JS3 

Arkansas 249,995 31S.3S2 

North Carolina 74.861 145,753 

Tennessee 25,581 70.594 

Kentucky 28.577 50.352 

Virginia 10.568 33,927 

Table III gives the production of pecans by states accord- 
ing to the 1920 census. A considerable part of the yield east 
of the Mississippi Eiver is from orchards planted to improved 
varieties, while a large percentage west of the Mississippi is 
from native seedling trees. 


Pecan is an American Indian word, originally paean, and 
was used by the Indians to designate all nuts that were so 
hard as to require a stone to crack them. This name was 
appropriated by the French settlers of the Mississippi basin 
for one nut in particular, Hicoria Pecan.^ The word hickory, 
from which Hicoria is derived, is likewise from the Indian, 
powcoMcora, being the name applied to the liquid obtained by 
pounding the kernels of the nuts and throwing them into 
boiling water. This powcohicora was used to thicken venison 
broth and to season hominy or corn cakes, and in some in- 
stances was allowed to ferment for an intoxicating drink.^ 

The first appearance of the pecan on this continent is un- 
known. In Texas, fossil remains of trees have been found 
embedded in the lower cretaceous formation in Lampasas 
County. 2 E. E. Eisien, of San Saba, Texas, has in his pos- 
session a perfect pecan fossil which was found thirty feet 
below the surface in the San Saba Valley, being thrown out 
by a blast from a well.^ 

This would at least indicate that pecan trees were growing 
in the western section of the country during the cretaceous 
period. However, many are inclined to believe that the pecan 

1 Trans. Amer. Philological Soc, 1872, p. 25. 

2 Pecans and Other Nuts in Texas, Bull. No. 2, Tex. Dept. Agric, 
p. 17. 

3 American Nut Journal ; Topic, Pecan Pollen, by E. E. Risien. 


History of Pecan-Growing 


originated in the region around southern Illinois, where the 
nuts were found in quantities by the explorers and fur trad- 
ers who called them the Illinois nuts from the name of the 
Indian tribes in that region. From this point, the theory is 
that the trees could easily have been distributed southward 
along the Mississippi Valley by the natural flow of the water. 
Since it is well known, however, that the Juglandaceee, of 
which family of plants the pecan is a member, appeared on 
this continent in the cretaceous period, it is very probable that 
the pecan originated at that time. An examination of a geo- 
logical map of that period shows the shore line of the Gulf 
of Mexico extending as far north as the mouth of the Ohio 
River, thence dipping in a crescent shape to the northwest of 
Texas, thus putting the northern parts of both the Mississippi 
and the Pecos valleys on the same Gulf shore line. It would, 
therefore, have been easy for the pecan to be carried from 
one part of the coast to the other by the wash of the waves. 
It is reasonable to 
suppose that, as 
the shores of the 
Gulf receded, the 
pecan followed and 
remained where it 
found congenial 
surroundings. (See 
Fig. 20 

According to 
Bancroft, DeSoto, 
the discoverer of 

the Mississippi, also Figure 2.— A map of North America in cre- 

taceous times. The shaded areas show parts 
found the pecan, of North America submerged at that time. 

14: Pecan-Growing 

This was in 1541. ^^ After leaving the land of the Chickasas, 
DeSoto and his party ascended the Mississippi * * * until at 
length they came, as it would seem, upon the district of Little 
Prairie. * * * The wild fruits of that region were abundant ; 
the pecan nut, the mulberry, and two kinds of wild plums, 
furnished the natives with articles of food. ' ' ^ 

Following the above, there seems to be no reference to the 
pecan again until 1704, when Jean Penicaut made note of it 
in his ^^ Annals of Louisiana'' which covered the first twenty- 
eight years of the settlement of that province, namely from 
1694 to 1722. Penicaut accompanied the first expedition of 
d 'Iberville, famous in early French-Canadian history, to the 
wilderness of the lower Mississippi as a ship's carpenter. He 
was employed in various capacities in the colony and was 
one of the few Frenchmen who escaped at the time of the 
Natchez massacre in 1729. ^ Penicaut in his description of 
Natchez, an Indian village on the Mississippi, said, ^^The 
natives have three kinds of walnut trees; some whose nuts 
are as big as the fist from which bread for their soup is 
made; the best ones, however, are scarcely bigger than the 
thumb and are called 'Pacane.' "^ 

In a history of New France, published in 1744, Xavier 
Charlevoix, a French missionary and traveler, who first 
descended the Mississippi to New Orleans in 1722, gave one 
of the best early descriptions of the pecan. 

'^The pecan is a nut of the length and of the form of an 

^ Bancroft— History of U. S., Vol. 1. p. 47. 

^Dunbar Rowland's Mississippi, Vol. 2 p. 348. 

^**Ils ont de trois sortes de noyers; il y en a dont les noix sout 
grosses comme le poing, et qui servent a faire du pain pour leur 
soupe, mais les meilleures ne sont guere plus grosses que le pouce, ils 
les appellent pacanes." — Margray, Memoires et Documents, Vol. 5, 
p. 445, Description du village de Natchez. 

History of Pecan-Growing 15 

acorn. There are some whose shell is very thin ; some others 
have it harder and thicker, this is to the detriment of the 
fruit ; they are even somewhat smaller. All have a very fine 
and delicate taste. The tree which bears them grows very 
high ; its bark, the odor and form of its leaves have appeared 
to me similar to those of the European walnnt trees.'' ^ 

In 1758, in a history of Louisiana, Le Page du Pratz, a 
French explorer in America w^ho visited New Orleans in 1720 
and who spent eight years exploring the Mississippi Valley, 
also described the pecan very accurately and in praising its 
flavor mentioned the very delectable pralines that the French 
colonists made out of the kernels. This confection is still 
made extensively around New Orleans.^ 

It was not until peace was declared with the French and 
Indians in 1762 that the pecan was known to the English col- 
onists on the Atlantic seaboard, some of the nuts being carried 
to New York by fur traders from the Mississippi Valley. 
"William Prince in 1772, so it is recorded, planted thirty nuts 
and succeeded in raising ten plants, eight of which he sold 
in England for ten guineas each.^ 

In 1782, a Frenchman serving with Washington, DeCourset 
by name, brother of the famous botanist, left the record that 
^4he celebrated General always had his pockets full of these 

* ''Le Pacane est nne Noix de la longueur «& de la figure d'un gros 
gland. II y en dont la coque est fort mince, d'autres V ont plus dure & 
plus epaisse, & c'est autant de d^falque sur le fruit; elles sont m^me 
un pen plus petites. Toutes sont d'un gout fin and delicat ; I'Arbre, 
qui les porte, vient fort haut : son bois, son ecorce, I'odeur 8c la figure 
de ses feuilles m'ont paru assez semblables aux Noyers d'Europe." 
Journal d'un Voyage fait par ordre du Roi dans TAmerique Septen- 
trionale. Vol. 1, p. 141. 

^Historie de la Louisiane, ii. 26. 

^Brendel, Amer. Nat., xiii., p. 575. 

16 Pecan-Growing 

nuts and that he was constantly eating them. ' ' ^ In his diary, 
under date of 1794, Washington mentioned planting around 
his place at Mt. Vernon, ''several Poccon or Illinois nuts" 
that had been sent to him. 

In 1785, the pecan was classified botanically by an early 
American botanist, Humphrey Marshall, as Juglans Pecan. 
Marshall, a Quaker of Pennsylvania, trained as a stone 
mason but took up farming, and finally, when considerable 
property was left him, cultivated his scientific tastes and be- 
came a botanist. From his description of the pecan tree pub- 
lished in his work ''Arbustrum Americanum, ' ' it is evident 
that he had never seen the tree in its habitat. On page 69 of 
this publication under ^^ Juglans Pecan — The Pecan or Illinois 
Hickery/' is the following description: ''This tree is said to 
grow plenty in the neighborhood of the Illinois river, and 
other parts to the westward. The young plants raised from 
these nuts, much resemble our young Pig-nut Hickerys. The 
nuts are small and thin shelled. ' ' 

The next botanical account Avas that of Captain Wangen- 
heim in 1787. He was one of the Hessian troopers sent to 
this country in the Revolution, and during his eight years 
of service made a study of the timber trees. His descrip- 
tion of the pecan was drawn up from a small cultivated tree 
in the nursery of William Prince at Flushing, New York. He 
named it Juglans illinoensis. This tree was one of those 
planted in 1772 and had not yet borne fruit. See page 215. 

In the southern colonies on the Atlantic coast, the pecan 
was described by Thomas Walter in his publication "Flora 

^Du Mont de Courset, Le botaniste cultivateur, Ed. 2, Vol. 6, p. 
237. "Mon frere, qui servoit dans I'armee de Washington, en 1782, 
me dit que ce celebre general avoit toujourns sa poche pleine de ces 
noix, et en mangeoit eontinuenement. 

History of Pecan-Growing 17 

Caroliniana ' ' in 1787. He was au Englishman who had a 
plantation in St. John's Parish on the Santee River, South 
Carolina, where he made an extensive collection of southern 
plants which are preserved in the British Museum. 
After describing the foliage of the pecan tree, evidently a 
nursery specimen, he ended with the words ''fructus non 
vidi" — the fruit I have not seen. 

Thus, from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the 
opening of the nineteenth, the pecan was scattered from its 
habitat in the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast by 
Indians, travelers, and by men like Washington who loved a 
beautiful tree. From Texas to the Carolinas there are num- 
bers of huge seedling pecan trees that must date from pioneer 
days and whose majestic and hoary beauty has graced the 
southern landscape for over a hundred years and whose fruit 
has been treasured by all the succeeding generations. They 
are fitting monuments to some one 's interest in trees and the 
planter is ^' blest in that he has blest many.'' 

The nineteenth century witnessed a different sort of de- 
velopment of the pecan. Between 1800 and 1900 the pecan 
was changed from a wild nut to an improved orchard product 
of great commercial value. The story of this progress is again 
that of venturesome spirits, men who dared to tread unknown 
paths, explorers in science and industry. The first of these 
was A. E. Colomb, of St. James Parish, Louisiana. His per- 
sistence demonstrated that nut-trees, and especially pecans, 
could be propagated by grafting. Until this time and for 
nearly half a century afterward, it was generally supposed 
that nut-trees could not be reproduced asexually, and writers 
on forestry and orcharding seemed to acquiesce in this theory. 
Consequently until 1890 the public planted nuts from a 

18 Pecan-Growing 

favorite tree if they wished to propagate it. Dr. Colomb, 
however, finding an exceptionally fine tree on the Anita plan- 
tation of Amant Bourgeois, in St. James Parish, Louisiana, 
attempted to propagate it by grafting, early in the forties. 
Failing in this, he later cut cions from the tree and carried 
them to the late Telesphore J. Eoman, owner of the Oak Alley 
plantation, whose slave gardener, Antoine by name, succeeded 
in grafting sixteen trees near the mansion and quarters during 
the winter of 1846 or 1847. Later 110 trees on the same 
plantation were grafted. The variety was the Centennial and 
this was the first commercial orchard, i.e. the first planted 
with the definite view of producing nuts for sale. Shortly 
after the close of the Civil War (1865) nuts from this orchard 
were selling at $50 to $75 a barrel. ^ 

This incident is epochal in pecan history, for without the 
perpetuation of certain choice seedling trees by budding or 
grafting, the industry never could have been standardized, 
and the nuts, even in the best cultivated orchards, would have 
been no more uniform and valuable than the greater part of 
wild seedlings now on the market. However, during the 
stormy reconstruction period following the Civil War, the 
Anita plantation changed owners and the orchard was cut 
down although it w^as at the height of its bearing, only a few 
trees around the house being left. The propagation of pecans 
by grafting was left undeveloped and unadvertised, and it 
was nearly half a century later before asexual propagation of 
these nut-trees became a general practice among growers. 

The next impetus to the pecan industry was given by Texas/ 
When that state was opened for settlers, the pioneers found 

*Wm. A. Taylor, Promising New Fruits, Yearbook Dept. Agr., 
p. 408. 

Histonj of Pecan-Growing 19 

great forests of these trees along the river valleys of the 
western and central sections. The nuts Avere gathered and sent 
to the eastern markets in such quantities that their very num- 
bers impressed the general public, and seedling orchards were 
planted from Texas to Maryland. Koerber said, ''But for 
this industry of nut gathering, the people of some localities 
must have starved for lack of remunerative labor. Hundreds 
of both white and colored people go out with horses and 
wagons to gather these nuts." In 1880 San Antonio, Texas, 
was the most important center of the pecan trade, and during 
that year over 1,250,000 pounds of nuts were marketed, the 
price ranging from 5 to 6 cents a pound in wagon-load quan- 
tities. The commercial value of these AA^ld seedlings aroused 
the public to the advisability of growing pecans in commercial 

In 1871 a pecan orchard of 150 seedling trees was planted 
in Hinds County, Mississippi, by George Whitfield. In the 
next twenty years orchards rapidly increased in number. 
W. R. Stuart of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, set out 100 trees, 
and Chas. E. Pabst of the same place also planted an orchard. 
Capt. Sam H. James, of Mound, Louisiana, started the first 
large commercial orchard of seedling trees about 1879, and 
T. W. Oliver set out a seedling orchard near Montgomery, 
Alabama, in 1882. G. M. Bacon of DeWitt, S. W. Peek of 
Hartwell, J. P. Gill and James Tift, both of Albany, were 
pioneers in Georgia. F. A. Swinden of Brownwood, Texas, 
planted 400 acres to seedling trees in 1888. Large nuts with 
soft shells were selected and set where the trees were to gi'ow. 
Louis Biediger, Idlewild, Texas, planted 500 trees, using the 

^ Xut Culture in the United States, T. S. Dept. Agr., Division of 

20 Pecan-Growing 

nuts of the varieties Biediger, Grant, and Idlewild. John S. 
Horlbeck, of Charleston, South Carolina, set out 1,000 acres 
to seedling trees in 1890. An orchard of 150 seedling trees 
was started at Federalsburg, Maryland, and in Illinois plant- 
ings of fifteen to twenty-five acres were common. At Dan- 
ville, New York, an orchard of forty or fifty trees was 
attempted and at Martinez, California, 600 trees w^ere planted 
on the farm of the late Richard J. Strentzel. 

Fortunately for the pecan industry, Emil Bourgeois of St. 
James Parish, Louisiana, revived in 1877 the idea of propagat- 
ing pecans by grafting, and inaugurated a new^ era in the 
industry. Bourgeois cut cions from a highly valued tree 
growing on the plantation of the late Duminie Mire, and suc- 
ceeded in getting eleven cions to grow out of the twenty-two 
that he set as top-grafts on seedling trees. When these grafts 
began bearing, he commenced propagating young trees for 
planting in orchards and for sale to the nearby planters. This 
variety was later named the Van Deman.^ 

It was William Nelson, however, who first propagated 
pecans on an extensive commercial scale. He first offered 
them for sale in 1882. He Avas associated with Richard 
Frotscher, of New Orleans, in the nursery business. Centen- 
nial, Frotscher, and Rome were the first budded and grafted 
varieties offered for sale. All three of these were catalogued 
by Frotscher in 1885.^ 

In 1883, Chas. E. Pabst, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, 
established the Ocean Springs pecan nursery, and was the 
first in his state to sell grafted stock. He was followed by 
W. R. Stuart and about ten years later by G. M. Bacon of 
DeWitt, Georgia, by P. J. Berckmans of Augusta, and later 

^Wm. A. Taylor, Promising New Fruit, Yearbook, Dept. Agr. 

History of Pecan-Growing 21 

by J. H. Girardeau of Monticello, Florida. E. E. Eisieii of 
San Saba was the pioneer nurseryman of Texas in budded 
and grafted pecans, lia\dng been the first to perfect the ring- 
bud method. 

Grafted and budded stock, however, was high in comparison 
with seedling stock. This was due to lack of skill in propaga- 
tion, a low percentage of successful grafts, and the length of 
time required to grow them large enough for orchard plant- 
ing. Grafted stock was selling as high as $2.50 a tree, and 
the average grower was not sufficiently convinced of its superi- 
ority over seedling stock to make much of a venture in it. 
In 1887, H. S. Kedney, of Winter Park, Florida, planted an 
orchard of 4,000 trees covering 100 acres, near the town of 
Monticello, Florida. His varieties were of the class called 
^'Mexican papershell. '' They were grafted in Texas on the 
order of Kedney and to secure the 4,000 trees about double 
that many seedlings w^ere worked.^ 

Thus slowly but surely the idea of planting choice grafted 
trees of pecans in cultivated orchard plats was adopted. From 
1890 to 1893 it received a great impetus from a number of 
choice varieties put on the market by the nurserymen and 
widely advertised. The Stuart, Van Deman, San Saba, and 
Pabst were among these early sorts. The Russell was intro- 
duced in 1894. In addition, many of the seedling orchards 
were coming into bearing and both the growers and nursery- 
men were convinced that no dependable percentage of the 
seedlings would come true. Hence many of the older trees 
in the orchards were top-worked. Notable among these were 
seedling trees on the Pabst, the Stuart, the Risien, and the 

^ Xiit Culture in the U. S., V. S. Dept. Agr., Division of Pomology, 
p. 51. 

22 Pecan-Growing 

Bacon estates. While there were still a nnmber of seedling 
orchards planted, the more progressive growers and nursery- 
men were advising grafted or budded stock. 

About 1900, the pecan was launched into a speculative crop. 
Individuals as well as corporations went into pecan-gromng 
on a large scale, and in many localities in southern Alabama, 
Georgia, and Mississippi lands were quadrupled in price. 
Hundreds of acres were set to pecans and sold in units of one 
acre or more. In this as in all other new and promising in- 
dustries, big holdings were purchased and partially developed 
by persons whose chief aim was not to grow nuts, but to profit 
by selling orchards, large and small, to the unsuspecting pub- 
lic at fabulous prices. In spite of such instances, however, 
the general progress of pecan-growing was not seriously 
affected, so that at present it ranks as one of the foremost 
horticultural industries of the South. 

In the northern part of the pecan belt, very little interest 
has developed in the pecan as an orchard crop. Although 
the nuts from the wild seedlings are still harvested and put 
on the market, where they command a ready sale, the public 
is too skeptical of the commercial possibilities of the grafted 
or budded pecan to make a trial of it on a large scale. Scat- 
tered groups of the named varieties in numbers up to ten 
have been planted practically all over the section, but most 
of them are not yet old enough to bear fruit. W. N. Roper, 
of Petersburg, Virginia, was a pioneer in propagating varie- 
ties suitable for the middle and northern pecan belts. To 
him is due the Major, the original tree standing in what is 
known as the Major or Green River groves, in Kentucky and 
Ohio. W. C. Reed of Vincennes, Indiana, T. P. Littlepage of 
Washington, R. L. McCoy and J. F. Wilkinson of Rockport, 

C r- 

> 5 




i4^ - 




J\h^ , 


History of Pecan-Growing 23 

Indiana, despite the general apathy, have done valiant work 
in perpetuating choice varieties and in arousing interest in 
pecan culture. 

By 1901 the industry in the South had grown to such an 
extent that a number of the men interested felt the need of an 
organization for the purpose of coordinating and disseminat- 
ing reliable information on the subject of pecan-growing. 
Consequently on November 21, 1901, Kobt. J. Bacon, of Bacon- 
ton, G. M. Bacon of DeWitt, J. M. Tift of Albany, and J. F. 
Wilson of Poulan, met in the office of R. H. Warren, on Broad 
Street, Albany, Georgia, and constituted themselves the 
^^ Southern Nut Growers' Association." Robert J. Bacon was 
chairman and J. F. Wilson was secretary. The ^^Nut Grow- 
er," published at Poulan, was made the organ. Very soon this 
organization was expanded into the National Nut Growers' 
Association. With its development there was felt the need of 
subsidiary state or sectional associations to deal with local 
problems. As a result, the Georgia-Florida Pecan Growers' 
Association was organized at Thomas^dlle, Georgia, in 1906. 
Among those present were H. C. White of Putney, J. B. Wight 
and W. C. Jones of Cairo, B. W. Stone and W. M. Parker of 
Thomasville, R. C. Simpson and H. K. Miller of Monticello, 
Florida. W. C. Jones was elected chairman, with R. C. Simp- 
son as secretary. 

In Texas, the first organization of nut-growers centered 
around a bit of sentiment and patriotism. On March 2nd, 
1906, Gov. James Hogg, of Texas, realizing his approaching 
end, said in conversation to friends: *'I want no monument 
of stone or marble, but plant at my head a pecan tree and at 
my feet an old fashioned walnut ^ * ^ and when these trees 
shall bear, let the pecans and the walnuts be given out among 

24 Pecan-Growing 

the plain people of Texas, so that they may plant them and 
make Texas a land of trees/' In order to carry out more 
fully this generous wish of Gov. Hogg's, his friends called a 
meeting at Austin, May 29th and 30th, 1906, of all growers 
of pecan and walnut trees in order to decide on the varieties 
to plant at the grave. The result was the organization of the 
Texas Nut Growers' Association. Those instrumental in call- 
ing this meeting were E. W. Kirkpatrick of McKinney, F. M. 
Eamsey of Austin, J. S. Kerr of Sherman, and C. Falkner 
of Waco. It was due to the efforts of this body that the pecan 
was adopted as the state tree of Texas. After five years, how- 
ever, the aim of this association was found to be so similar to 
that of the Texas Horticultural Society that it was merged 
into that organization.^ 

In 1920 there was organized at Brownwood the Texas 
Pecan Growers' Association, with J. W. White of Mason, as 
president, J. H. Burkett of Clyde, as secretary, and Joe 
Burkett of Eastland, as attorney. In August, 1921, it chart- 
ered the Texas Pecan Growers' Exchange, and appointed C. 
D. Jarrat as sales manager. 

During the period between 1900 and 1922 a great mass of 
detailed study on the pecan was done, that had necessarily been 
overlooked in the rapidly expanding industry of the preced- 
ing decades. The investigations have been along the lines of 
propagation, pollination, nomenclature, varietal and soil 
adaptation, cultural practices, fertilizers, and the protection 
of the tree against the various pests. Much of this work has 
been conducted by the United States Department of Agri- 
culture, by workers of the southern experiment stations, and 
by nurserymen and practical pecan-growers. 

^ Pecans and Other Nuts in Texas." Bull. No. 2, Texas Dept. Agr. 



A CONSERVATIVE estimate of the total number of seedling 
pecan trees, both native and planted by man, in the United 
States, is from seventy-five to one hundred million. 

In Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana the native 
pecan has become of considerable conmiercial value as a 
nut-producing tree. It is estimated that in Texas alone 
there are between fifty and seventy-five million native 
seedling trees, which produced, according to the 1920 census, 
16,803,543 pounds of nuts in 1919 in spite of almost total 

When the states containing native pecan timber were first 
settled by the pioneers, little care was taken to protect these 
trees. The nuts were of almost no commercial value at that 
time and for many years afterward. The pecan timber was 
often destroyed with other native growth in clearing the 
land along the creeks and rivers, which was generally the first 
to be cleared on account of its natural richness. Thus millions 
of native trees, probably including many that w^ould have 
become valuable varieties, were destroyed without regard to 
the character of the nuts produced. These trees always made 
a stubborn resistance against the hand of the invader, con- 
tinuing to send up sprouts annually often for a period as 
long as fifteen or twenty years. In a few^ cases, these sprouts 


26 Pecan-Growing 

would be allowed to retake the land, though on thousands of 
acres the pecan timber was totally destroyed or was some- 
times left in a close fringe along the streams. 

A large percentage of this timber in Texas and Oklahoma 
is still owned by persons, principally live-stock men, who are 
not directly interested in the pecan, and who pay little or no 
attention to its development. Usually they sell the crop on 
the trees in the summer or early fall at a low price to some- 
one who harvests without regard, as a rule, to the welfare 
of the trees, and who generally leaves from one-third to one- 
half of the nuts unharvested. 


Very little attempt has been made to improve these native 
groves. They usually stand in pasture land where the trees 
have to struggle against animals and plants of every descrip- 
tion, as well as against the elements. In many places, the 
native pecan trees, even when all other timber is destroyed, 
grow two or three times too thick for best results. Often trees 
that are barren and those that produce nuts too small to be 
of commercial value are allowed to crowd out those yielding 
valuable nuts. These groves should be given a better chance. 
The first step in their improvement should be to remove all 
underbrush and trees of other species. The pecan trees should 
then be examined carefully in a good bearing year and all 
barren specimens and those producing unprofitable crops of 
nuts removed, in case they are close enough to interfere with 
some good producing tree. If they are standing by them- 
selves and are of suitable size, they should be worked over to 
an improved variety. 

When it is practical, the land should gradually be put into 

Pecan Seedlings and Care of the Native Grove 27 

cultivation. The first breaking should be shallow so as to 
destroy as few of the lateral roots as possible. When the 
groves are uncultivated and the trees crowded, there is usually 
great damage from lack of moisture. This is shown prin- 
cipally in the shedding of immature nuts and in greatly 
reducing the size of those that do mature. 

The improvement of the grove as suggested above will un- 
doubtedly reduce the ravages from insect pests and diseases 
and will enable the trees to secure more moisture and plant- 
food, thereby enabling them to produce much heavier and 
better crops of nuts. It is, therefore, a very conservative 
estimate to state that the native crop of seedling pecans could 
be increased by several million pounds if the groves were 
given proper care and attention. Plate III shows a native 
grove of pecans owned by Senator T. H. Ridgeway of San 
Antonio, Texas, located on the Medina River. Plate III, lower, 
pictures a group just across the fence that is still in the virgin 
state. Senator Ridgeway cleared his grove in 1918 and he 
states that '^The production from the fifty acre tract since 
1918 has been sufficient to pay the purchase price of the land 
and the clearing, and the improvements thereon. This grove 
produced a crop of nuts in 1922 while all surrounding native 
trees failed. '^ 

The pecan tree, in order to function properly, demands a 
constant and abundant supply of moisture. The oldest and 
most productive groves stand where nature gives them this 


A large percentage of the older pecan orchards set out by 
man are seedlings. Even though the choicest nuts may have 

28 Pecan-Growing 

been selected for these plantings, the resulting seedlings, in a 
large measure, were worthless. 

Cross-pollination is so prevalent and has been going on for 
so many generations that trees cannot be expected to come 
true from seed. Even nuts from a self-fertilized tree do not 
breed true, since the parent itself is likely to be a cross or a 
hybrid and its offspring would inherit characteristics from 
the various types going to make up the ancestry of the tree. 
The nuts of a seedling vary widely from those of the mother, 
in size, shape, color, and quality. One hundred pecan nuts 
may be taken from a tree of any good variety and planted. 
No two of the resultant seedlings are likely to produce nuts 
alike; and the chances are that none of them will equal the 
nuts of the parent tree. Only one out of several thousand 
seedlings may be expected to produce superior nuts, even 
though the largest pecans may have been planted. 

Seedling trees also come into bearing late, often failing to 
produce nuts until they are fifteen or twenty years old, and 
in some instances are barren. Seedling pecan trees should be 
grown for nursery purposes, for budding and grafting, but 
they should be fruited only by the novice or the experimenter 
who is seeking information rather than crops of desirable 


Of all the hickory family, the pecan seems most susceptible 
to improvement in size and quality of its fruit. Marked ad- 
vancement by selection has already been made by a number 
of growers. Improvements in varieties, or rather the increased 
number of improved varieties, has resulted largely from selec- 
tions from seedling trees. Some were taken from the wild. 

Pecan Seedlings and Care of the Native Grove 29 

some from seedlings planted by man with little or no knowl- 
edge of inherent characters, while others were obtained by 
cross-breeding existing varieties. 

The marked variation in pecan seedlings has played well 
into the hands of the experimenter who is seeking new varie- 
ties. Among every lot planted, he stands a chance of securing 
an offspring different and superior in some essential points 
from existing improved varieties. A very large percentage 
of the improved varieties of pecans catalogued in America 
today has originated from such seedlings planted by man. 

The earliest varieties introduced, however, were individual 
tree selections, from choice seedlings of the native or wild 
pecan forests. One of the first was the Centennial. The origi- 
nal tree w^as a wild seedling on the east bank of the Missis- 
sippi River, Louisiana, early in the nineteenth century. It 
was given the name of Centennial because the nuts took the 
premium as the best pecan exhibited at the Philadelphia Cen- 
tennial Exposition in 1876. 

The Halbert was a native seedling tree on the plantation 
of H. B. Freeman in the Colorado Eiver bottom near Milburn, 
Texas, sometime before 1891. 

The San Saba was found as a wild seedling at the junction 
of the San Saba and Colorado rivers near San Saba, Texas, 
and was introduced by E. E. Eisien about 1893. 

The original tree of the ^Yalford was discovered in the Wil- 
son creek bottom, by E. AV. Kirkpatrick, near McKinney, 
Texas, about 1898. 

The Claremont, which also originated as a wild seedling, 
was found on the Pecania plantation, near Ferriday, Louisi- 
ana, and was propagated by H. E. Van Deman about 1907. 

The Indiana, which is one of the northern varieties of pecans, 

30 Pecan-Growing 

was a large native seedling tree in Bnsseron township,, Knox 
County, Indiana, and was brought to notice by M. J. Niblack 
of Vincennes. 

Among the long list of varieties originating from nuts 
planted by man may be mentioned such well known sorts as 
Alley, Appomattox, Curtis, Delmas, Frotscher, Mantura, Mo- 
bile, Moneymaker, Pabst, Russell, Success, Schley, Stuart, Van 
Deman, and Texas Prolific. 

At the present time large numbers of young pecan trees 
resulting from various crosses of the better know^n varieties 
are grown in several sections adapted to their culture. How- 
ever, only a few have yet been produced from cross-breeding 
as compared with the numbers from nuts planted where only 
one, and sometimes neither, of the parent trees are known. 

E. E. Eisien of San Saba, Texas, crossed the San Saba with 
the Sloan and secured fifteen nuts from the cross. He planted 
these nuts and used buds from the resultant seedlings for top- 
w^orking some rather large pecan trees so as to secure fruit as 
early as possible. He found very great variations in both 
fruit and foliage of these crosses and considered only one of 
them worthy of propagation. From the results he concluded 
that the male plant in a pecan cross is dominant. Later Risien 
crossed the San Saba with the Atwater as the male parent and 
produced a variety which he named Venus. From the Texas 
Prolific crossed with the Atwater as the male parent he se- 
cured the Banquet variety. These experiments were followed 
by several other crosses from which developed a number of 
important varieties. 

In 1903 C. Forkert of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, crossed 
the Jewet with both the Pabst and the Success. He obtained 
better nuts from his crosses between the Success and the 

Pecan Seedlings and Care of the Native Grove 31 

Jewet than between the Pabst and the Jewet. A tree from 
. one of these crosses he named Dependable and considers it a 
very promising variety. 

Numerous other crosses have been made between various 
varieties of pecans since the experiments of these two pioneers 
and it is likely that within the next few years a long list of 
new varieties will be brought out. The principles of plant- 
breeding now being applied to the breeding of pecans are the 
most direct means of securing a high percentage of trees bear- 
ing good nuts among the progeny which results from definite 
crosses combining the desirable characters of two varieties. 


The pecan is more difficult to propagate than most fruit- 
trees. It is not feasible to root pecans from cuttings, and 
seedlings fail to come true to the parent type. The propa- 
gator has, therefore, to resort to budding or grafting to per- 
petuate desirable varieties. 

The propagation of pecan trees is a highly specialized 
industry, requiring a skilled operator to get a high percentage 
of buds or grafts to live. The amateur is likely to meet with 
discouraging results in attempting to propagate pecan trees, 
and is advised to buy his stock ready budded or grafted 
unless he desires to do the work largely for experience. 


The pecan can be budded or grafted on almost any species 
of hickory, though its own roots are more compatible as stock. 
No stock superior to the pecan seedling has yet been found 
for propagating the pecan; and nurserymen employ them 
almost exclusively. It is hoped, however, that a stock will 
be discovered that will produce dwarfed, heavy fruiting, and 
early bearing trees so as to shorten the time between planting 
and the production of profitable crops. Furthermore with 
trees of less height, spraying and pruning, as well as the 
harvesting of the nuts, will be simplified greatly. 

There is considerable diversity of opinion among nursery- 


Propagation of the Pecan 33 

men and growers in regard to the best source of nnts for the 
production of pecan nursery stock. Nurserymen in northern 
Florida and in southern Georgia, where the greater propor- 
tion of all pecan nursery trees are grown, are generally of 
the opinion that nuts from Louisiana and Texas do not germi- 
nate as well as the eastern pecans. The statement is also 
made that southern seedlings are not satisfactory for northern 
cions, and vice versa. Neither makes satisfactory progress 
when the two extremes are used in grafting, owing to the 
difference of time in starting growth in the spring, and in 
maturing wood or becoming dormant in the fall. The use 
of stocks from the northern border of the pecan-growing 
area, however, offers a field for further investigations to the 
experimenter who may be in search of stock that will some- 
w^hat dwarf and increase the productiveness of southern 

Nurserymen who contemplate propagating pecans to be 
grown toward the northern limits of their culture should 
secure nuts for growing stock as far north as the trees are to 
be planted in order to give them sufficient hardiness to with- 
stand the climatic conditions. However, the nurseryman 
propagating trees for the great mass of pecan-growers of 
the lower South, where practically all the large commercial 
orchards are situated, may expect good results by using plump 
nuts, medium in size, selected from vigorous growing healthy 
seedling trees in the same locality or in a latitude and climate 
approximating that of the nursery. When nurserymen have 
access to the same seedling pecan trees year after year, they 
find that nuts from certain individuals produce much better 
stock than from others, even though there may be no apparent 
difference between the two lots of nuts. 

34 Pecan-Growing 

Occasionally the nurseryman fails to obtain a sufficient 
quantity of desirable seedling pecan nuts for nursery purposes 
and has to resort to some of the commercial varieties. If he 
has a choice of several varieties, he should select those which 
give promise of producing the most uniform and vigorous 
seedlings for budding or grafting. The nuts from the various 
kinds, when planted, may be expected to behave differently 
in separate regions and vary from year to year even in the 
same locality. Plantings at the Georgia Experiment Station, 
however, will give the reader some idea as to the relative 
results from several varieties grown for nursery stock. The 
nuts were harvested in the fall of 1919 and held in paper bags 
in an office building, at ordinary living-room temperature, 
until February, 1920, w^hen they were planted in uniformly 
good soil, well fertilized and cultivated. Table IV gives a sum- 
mary of tree growth as recorded June 15th, 1922. 


Varieties Grown for Nursery Stock by Georgia Experiment 


No. nuts 
Variety planted 

Alley 20 

Appomattox 25 

Atlanta 25 

Beveridge 22 

Bradley 20 

Centennial 15 

Curtis 20 

Frotscher 10 

Jerome 19 

Mantura 20 

Mobile 15 

Moneymaker .... 25 

Nelson 20 











% above 





























































Propagation of the Pecan 35 



9c above 

tV in. 




















Table IV — Confinued 

Highest Lowest 

No. nuts Xo. plant plant 

Varietv planted srrew inches inches 

Robsou ' 21 13 2*5 16 

Pabst 20 20 41 8 

Rome 20 13 37 9 

Russell 20 20 27 6 

San Saba 20 15 35 6 

Schley 3 3 28 16 

Stuart 20 17 25 7 

Tecbe 22 14 36 10 

Van Deman 25 19 31 9 

Seedling 25 17 32 10 

The seedling nuts were from a tree growing in the same 
locality as the varieties. The plants from the former averaged 
a little larger than those from the named varieties. The 
Beveridge nuts were seriously affected by scab and germinated 
very poorly. The Stuart germinated fairly well but made 
poor growth, and only 6 per cent of the plants exceeded seven- 
sixteenths of an inch in diameter by the middle of June, 
1922. Too few of the Schley nuts were planted to secure 
tinistworthy averages, but the Alley. Appomattox, Pabst, Kob- 
son, Teche. and VanDeman showed relatively high averages 
in size. The nuts of each variety were from a single tree, yet 
the very great variation in size of plants seems as pronounced 
as though mixed seedlings had been employed. 

Pecan seedlings in the nursery that do not reach a height 
above the ground of ten inches the second year should be cut 
out as weaklings unless abnormal soil or seasonal conditions 
account for the stunted growth. In determining when a seed- 
ling is ready to be budded or grafted, its diameter is a more 
important factor than its height. However, measurements of 
rather large numbers have shown that the relation between 

36 Pecan-Gi^owing 

height and diameter of pecan seedlings is fairly constant. 
When caliper measurements are taken about two inches above 
the soil, the following will approximate the averages, the 
heights recorded in inches, and the diameters in sixteenths of 
inches : 

Diam. of seedling, 
Height of seedling, sixteenths 

inches. of an inch 

10 to 14 5 

14 to 18 6 

18 to 22 7 

22 to 26 8 

26 to 30 9 

30 to 34 10 

34 to 38 11 

38 to 42 12 

Soils for pecan nurseries are almost as variable as those 
for growing the trees in an orchard. However, a deep sandy 
loam with a clay subsoil, highly retentive of moisture, is pre- 
ferred. Heavy tenacious soils should be avoided as much of 
the grafting and tree digging is performed during the winter 
when there is a high degree of moisture. Soils of this kind, 
if worked while wet, become very hard and are difficult to 
handle in growing nursery stock. On the other hand, a deep 
• loose sandy soil is not desirable because the young trees are 
likely to send down a very long tap-root which is practically 
void of lateral roots. A soil somewhat intermediate between 
these two extremes is more suitable. A sandy loam well filled 
with decaying organic matter and having a clay subsoil not 
more than two feet from the surface can be worked at almost 
any time of the year and will produce trees with a considerable 
number of lateral roots. A young tree with a good lateral 
root system transplants more successfully than one with very 
few lateral roots. (See Fig. 3.) 

Propagation of the Pecan 


At best pecan seedlings make little top growth the first year. 
Thus it is very important that the most favorable conditions 
for growth be provided in order that the seedlings may become 
large enough to be budded or grafted as early as possible. 

If the soil is lacking 
in organic matter, 
a leguminous cover- 
crop may be turned 
under or stable ma- 
nure applied several 
weeks before plant- 
ing the nuts. In 
preparing the soil 
for a pecan nursery, 
it should be broken 
to a depth of ten to 
twelve inches and 
subsoiled if a hard- 
pan is present. It 
should be harrowed 
thoroughly, so as to 
cut up and incorpo- 
rate with the soil 
FiGUEE 3.-Small seedling pecan trees. ^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^.^^^.^ 

matter which has been turned under. 

A fertilizer that will produce a rapid woody growth in the 
pecan seedlings should be selected. One analyzing 8 per cent 
phosphoric acid, 5 per cent nitrogen, and 3 per cent potash 
will be suitable for applying to the soil before the nuts are 
planted. From 400 to 700 pounds to the acre will be sufficient 
at this time. It should be applied in the drill just before 

38 Pecan-Growing 

the nuts are planted and well mixed with the soil by running 
a plow through the furrows. 

If the young seedlings show a lack of thrift in the late 
spring, one or two applications of a nitrogenous fertilizer 
may be given. From 75 to 100 pounds to the acre of sulfate 
of ammonia or nitrate of soda at each time will be sufficient. 
When two applications are needed, the first should be given 
about the middle of May, and the other about the middle of 
June. If only one side application is required, it should be 
given about the first of June. Early the second spring after 
the nuts have been planted, that is in the early spring after 
the young trees have had one season's growth and each spring 
thereafter as long as they stand in the nursery, from 500 to 
1,000 pounds to the acre of the same grade of fertilizer as was 
used before the nuts were planted should be given the young 
trees, applied between the rows and stirred into the soil with 
any convenient cultivator. 

The pecan nuts may be planted in the fall soon after they 
are harvested, or they may be stratified and held until late 
winter or early spring. In stratifying nuts, they are packed 
in sand and kept in a dark cool moist place, where they can 
be protected against rodents and excessive moisture until time 
to plant. On overflow lands or in the northern part of the 
pecan belt it may be advisable to stratify the nuts and hold 
them for spring planting. However, in the lower South it is 
best to plant in the late fall or early winter so that the nuts 
may have time to absorb moisture and be in readiness to 
germinate in the early spring as soon as the soil becomes suffi- 
ciently warm to start growth. "When plantings are made in 
spring, weather conditions are likely to be unfavorable for 
field work and delay plantings to such an extent that some of 

Propagation of the Pecan 39 

the nuts may fail to germinate the first season, and tlie 
seedlings from those which do spront will not reach nor- 
mal size that year. Late November and all of December and 
January are suitable for planting pecans. It is very im- 
portant that the nuts should not become dry before this 

The rows are laid out from four to six feet apart, the nuts 
dropped from six to eight inches apart in the row, and covered 
from one and one-half to two and one-half inches deep. Some 
nurserymen recommend that the rows be put six feet apart 
and the nuts dropped every five or six inches in the row. 
This method of spacing allows the nurseryman to dig out 
and destroy the weak and stunted seedlings soon after growth 
begins the second season, leaving only the strong and vigorous 
ones to be budded or grafted. Just why there is almost 
invariably a large percentage of small stunted seedlings in a 
pecan nursery is not fully understood. The practice, how- 
ever, of discarding the poorly filled and defective nuts will 
probably eliminate many of those seedlings low in vitality 
and bring about considerable improvement in the general 
vigor of the nursery stock. 

Well graded nuts may be planted by means of a machine 
which spaces them properly. Most nurserymen, however, 
follow the practice of dropping the nuts by hand. 

Eows should be laid out as straight as possible. After 
applying the fertilizer in the drill, a broad flat ridge should 
be made by listing on the furrow. "When the nuts are to be 
planted, these ridges should be opened, just ahead of the 
person dropping the nuts, by means of a scooter or bull- 
tongue plow with a heel-pin slide or some other attachment 
for leaving the furrow open. A very good practice is to drop 

40 Pecan-Growing 

the nuts about five or six inches apart in this furrow and, 
for the time being, cover them only about one inch deep. 
Some nurserymen cover the nuts by running a wheelbarrow 
along the furrow which presses them into the freshly plowed 
soil, and at the same time a barrel hoop or some similar 
object attached to the rear of the wheelbarrow drags along 
the furrow and covers the nuts to the proper depth. Almost 
any implement that is used for covering corn will serve. 
This method of planting leaves the nuts in a furrow, yet only 
slightly lower than the general level of the land, as the 
furrow is made by opening a ridge previously thrown up. 
When the rains come, the soil is washed into the furrows, 
gradually covering the nuts deeper. The nuts are left with 
a shallow covering at first, so that when w^arm days occur in 
the winter, the warmth, with the moisture in the soil, will 
cause them to germinate earlier in the spring than when 
covered much deeper at the beginning. 

Early in the spring a harrow should be run along the 
rows to keep down weeds and grass. If the rows are uni- 
formly spaced, the harrow can be driven very close without 
disturbing the nuts. Some nurserymen run a weeder over 
the land before the young trees appear. The mule or horse 
pulling the weeder is allowed to walk between the rows, culti- 
vating two at a time. 

As the young seedlings push through the soil in the spring, 
they should be cultivated in the same way as annual crops, 
such as cotton or corn. The old adage that tillage is manure 
is as true with pecan trees as for other plants. Cultivators 
of the Planet Jr. type, or the common scooter and scrape, 
may be used for cultivating the nursery. The two-horse riding 

Plate III. — Ahoct. native Texas pecan grove with under- 
brusli cleared away. Below, adjacent grove in virgin state. 

Propagation of the Pecan 41 

cultivator may be employed with good results in large nurs- 
eries while the young trees are small enough to be straddled 
without injury. Frequent cultivations will reduce the amount 
of hoeing necessary. However, an occasional clump of grass 
or a weed will spring up in the row that cannot be reached 
by the cultivators and should be removed with the hoe. 

If the soil is inclined to form a crust over the surface as it 
becomes dry, or if the moisture is likely to become depleted 
in the spring about the time the young trees are pushing 
through, it is a good practice to place a mulch of some organic 
material, two inches deep and about eighteen inches wide, over 
the rows after the nuts are planted. The mulching material 
should be finely broken or shredded so as to allow the young 
trees to push through without difficulty. Wheat chaff or 
partially decayed wheat or oat straw is suitable for this 
purpose. Leaves or pine straw from the woods should not be 
used, as termites — wood-lice — are almost certain to be intro- 
duced and will destroy a considerable percentage of the trees. 
The practice of mulching pecan nurseries is rather expensive, 
and when large areas are to be planted, friable sandy loam 
soil should be selected that will give satisfactory results with- 
out mulching. 

Pecan nuts planted in the late fall or early winter will 
germinate the following spring. These should produce plants 
from eight to twelve inches above the ground, and send down 
tap-roots from two to two and one-half feet below the surface 
the first season. The more vigorous should be large enough 
to bud in the second summer of their growth or to be grafted 
in the winter following. It will be one year later before the 
less thrifty plants will be large enough to propagate. 




The importance of top-working as a means of changing 
seedling pecan trees into more desirable varieties can scarcely 
be over-estimated. Some of the objects accomplished by this 
process are : The changing of non-productive and unprofitable 
seedling trees, both native and planted, of the desired size 
and age, into desirable varieties ; the transforming of unsatis- 
factory varieties, those not suited to the region or susceptible 
to diseases or insect pests, into valuable trees of more suit- 
able kinds; the hastening into bearing of new or untried 

It should be remembered that in top-working pecan trees, 


, .^<^m^™»'i 


Figure 4. — J, Showing sprouts before thinning out undesir- 
able ones ; //, sho^Ying sprouts after thinning, o. Place where 
bud should be inserted. 

Propagation of the Pecan 


the same fundamental principles of budding and grafting are 
applied as in the propagation of small nursery seedlings. 

Some preparatory work is necessary before top-working 
pecan seedlings in forests or native groves. All timber or 
underbrush within a radius of twenty or thirty feet should 
be removed to give space for cultivation. The weeds and 
grass should be raked and burned from near the trees that 
are to be top- 
worked in old 
fields. When there 
are several 
sprouts in a 
clump, one or two 
of the best and 
strongest should 
be saved for top- 
working and the 
the others cut 
down (Fig. 4). 
This preliminary 
work is, of course, 
unnecessary in a 
pecan orchard 
where the trees 
are properly 
spaced and the 
land already in 

There are two 

radically different Figure 5.— Native seedling tree, showing 
- - . , points where Umbs are to be removed for top- 

methods m the working. 



treatment of trees preparatory to top-working. The old 
method, and the one still in most common use, is to cut back 
the top of the trees, often to mere stumps, during the dormant 
period, in order to force out new and vigorous sprouts in 

which to insert 
buds or cions. 
These new 
sprouts are 
thinned out when 
they are from six 
to eight inches 
long and are gen- 
erally ready for 
budding by late 
summer, or for 
both budding and 
grafting the fol- 
lowing spring. 
T r e e s for top- 
working by this 
method should be 
cut back to the 
point where it is 
desired to form 
the new head, 
leaving a few of 
the lower branches to carry on the vegetation processes. 
Trees having a diameter of less than three inches at a foot 
above the ground should have their entire tops removed from 
three to four feet above the surface. All the tops should be 
cut out of trees ranging from three to six inches in diameter 

Figure 6. — &, Same tree as Fig. 5 after head- 
ing back for top-working; a, stubs from which 
tlie new growth is to come; c, heading back 
that is too severe. 

Propagation of the Pecan 45 

except three or four of the lower limbs, while those from six 
inches in diameter upwards should not have more than three- 
quarters of their tops removed the first year. The mistake 
is often made of 
cutting the tops 
back too severely 
(See Figs. 5, 6 and 

This method has 
the advantage of 
furnishing clean 
vigorous wood in 
Avhich to insert 
buds or scions. It 
has, however, sev- 
eral disadvantages. 

(1) It often delays 
results one season. 

(2) It is necessary 
to rencAV the top 
twice ; first, when 
the original top is 
cut back to secure 
the shoots in w^hich 
the buds are in- 
serted ; afterwards, 
Avhen these shoots 

Figure 7. — Same as Fig. 5 after top has 
been renewed at points indicated. 

are cut back in order to force the buds or cions. This often 
results in greatly weakening the tree as it reduces the foliage 
to such an extent that assimilation is not sufficient to manu- 
facture plant-food. (3) The cutting back of the original top, 



budding on the new shoot and then trimming these to force 
the buds very often leaves weak, unsightly and poorly shaped 
limbs to form the new top. 

The other method of top-working began with the use of the 
bark-graft and has been considerably strengthened as a result 
of the discovery that the patch-bud could be inserted success- 
fully in rough bark on limbs and trunks. In the use of the 

Figure 8. — a, Young shoot at close of first season's growth ; 
h, place sawed in native limb for purpose of forcing out the 
bud ; c, end of limb cut off for purpose of forcing out the bud ; 
d, coarse twine for staking young shoot ; e, point where native 
limb will be cut off at beginning of second season's growth. 

bark-graft at least 50 per cent of the limbs are removed and 
cions inserted in the stubs. "With the patch-bud the rough 
bark on the limb or trunk is pared down and a bud inserted 
in the fresh and tender bark. The maximum diameter of the 
limb or trunk at the point of insertion should not exceed 
three or fqur inches. No part of the stock is removed until 
it is seen that the bud is living, and then only enough is cut 

Propagation of the Pecan 47 

back at first to force the Lnd. The stock is removed just 
above the new shoot the following season at the time when 
the new growth is starting ^Figs. 8 and 9). 

FiGUEE 9. — a. Points on stock where buds were inserted, 
from which youns: shoots have forced ; b. points on stock where 
diameter is too great for insertion of buds ; c, native limbs left 
to support tree until top is renewed. 

This method has several advantages: By forcing the bud 
or cion soon after it is inserted, one full season is often saved 
over the old method : in case of the patch-biid the stock is not 
cut back until it is kno^ii that the bud is living; if the cion 

48 Pecan-Growing 

fails in bark-grafting the new shoots coming from the stock 
can be worked later; only one cutting back of the stock is 

When a large number of trees are to be top-worked a plat- 
form of convenient height mounted on a wagon will be helpful 
to the operator. Large limbs should have shallow cuts made 
on the lower side before being sawed off so as to avoid splitting. 
Another means of averting splitting is, before sawing the limb, 
to wrap a stout chain around it just below where it is to be 
cut off. Limbs or tops of pecan trees having a diameter 
greater than six inches at the point of sawing heal very 
slowly. Therefore, such large limbs should not be cut 
whenever it can be avoided. The cutting back and top-working 
of very large pecan trees is a doubtful venture, except for the 
experienced propagator. 

In cutting back a pecan tree for top-working, the wounds 
should be so made and handled as to facilitate healing and 
prevent exposure to the elements and the attendant dangers 
of fungus infection. The cut should be made so as to allow 
drainage ; and the cut surface protected with some waterproof 
or antiseptic covering until the healing process is complete. 
Among the protective substances employed are white lead 
paint, grafting-wax, paraffin, coal-tar, and a coal-tar creosote 
mixture, composed of one-third creosote and two-thirds coal- 
tar. For large wounds, the creosote coal-tar mixture is prob- 
ably best, even though excellent results from the use of hot 
paraffin and some of the other substances mentioned have 
been reported. In applying the protective covering, the 
newly-made wound should be allowed time to dry, then a 
coat of protective substance applied. The wound should be 
repainted or treated as often as may be necessary for com- 

Propagation of the Pecan 49 

plete protection until it is healed. Otherwise large cavities 
from decayed wood may develop. 

Top-working of pecans is very difficult even with the 
very best stock and under the most favorable weather con- 
ditions. It is practically useless to undertake this unless the 
work is done by a skilled operator and the topped tree is to 
be given proper care and attention. 

However, when the right stock is used, when the work is 
properly done, and when good aftercare is given, it is entirely 
practical as well as profitable to top-work pecans to improved 
varieties. Furthermore, it can be performed very econom- 
ically, especially when compared with the increase made in 
the value of the tree. The pecan has the ability to heal over 
wounds easily and quickly. AVhen once well established it 
recovers from severe injuries more quickly than almost any 
other tree, either native or cultivated. A ^dgorous healthy 
pecan that has been successfully top-worked renews its top 
rapidly and will often begin to produce improved nuts in two 
to three years. The fact that a tree is barren makes no 
difference in results secured after top-working. 

The trees that can be top-worked most easily and econom- 
ically are those varying in height from two to three feet, 
with a diameter of one to two inches, up to thirty-five to 
forty feet high with a diameter of eight to twelve inches. 
It is possible to work much larger trees, but it requires great 
care and good judgment in the placing of buds or cions in 
order to secure satisfactory results. They also require very 
careful after treatment. 

In the pecan belt there are many old fields where the virgin 
pecan timber has been removed and sprouts have retaken the 
land. These sprouts are often thick enough to permit thin- 

50 Pecan-Growing 

ning to rows that will allow cultivation. When the sprouts 
have made a rapid growth, as they "asnally do on rich soil, 
and are from two to three inches in diameter and six to eight 
feet tall, they make ideal stock for top-working. In using 
stock of this kind, however, care should be taken to select 
those that have established their own root system and not 
those coming from the sides of old decayed stumps. 

It usually requires considerable experience to be able to 
place a bud or cion in the proper location on the tree. The 
tendency is to use too many buds or cions. No exact number 
can be given that will suit all situations, but under average 
conditions it is safe to say that the following number of buds 
or cions should be employed : For young seedlings and sprouts 
one and one-half to two inches in diameter and from three 
to eight feet in height, one to two buds ; trees two to three 
inches in diameter, three to five buds ; trees four to six inches 
in diameter, six to eight buds; trees eight to twelve inches 
in diameter, twelve to twenty buds. 

The mistake is often made of placing the buds or cions 
too far from the ground, and especially too far from the main 
body of the tree. This reduces the bearing surface of the 
tree and has a tendency to make it top-heavy, at least for 
the first few years, often resulting in the twisting and break- 
ing off of the budded part by strong winds. 

There has been a great improvement in the methods of 
working-over trees, especially during the past fifteen or twenty 
years. The cleft-graft was first employed because it had given 
good results when used on the apple, European plum and 
pear in the northern states. Results from the cleft-graft were 
not entirely satisfactory, so the ring-bud was introduced, being 
tried first by E. E. Risien of San Saba, Texas. The ring-bud, 

Propagation of the Pecan 51 

when the proper wrapping material was used, gave fairly 
good results, but at best it was a difficult and severe operation. 
The cleft-graft, ring-bud and several other methods have 
gradually given way to the patch-bud, the chip-bud and the 
bark-graft or modifications of these. These are given in 
order of their importance, although the best method to use 
generally depends on the age and size of the stock and the 
season when the work is to be done. 


The patch-bud, or modified ring-bud, has become the most 
important method of top-working native pecan trees, and is 
rapidly replacing the whip-graft in the propagation of 
nursery trees. Since the discovery by J. A. Evans, while 
acting as pecan specialist for the Agricultural and Mechanical 
College of Texas, that the patch-bud could be inserted success- 
fully in the rough bark of the trunk and large limbs of trees, 
there is little need of using any other method in top-working, 
if it were not that the season for working is lengthened by 
the use of the chip-bud and bark-graft. 

The patch-bud may be inserted as soon as the bark slips 
freely in the spring and the operator may continue his work 
until the bark refuses to slip, OAving either to drought or the 
approach of the dormant period in the fall. If there is abun- 
dant rainfall during the summer, the budding can often be 
continued through August; but if a drought begins early in 
July, it is best to stop in the latter part of that month, 
even before the bark refuses to slip. Young seedlings given 
thorough cultivation and vigorous young sprouts usually can 
be budded with success later than mature trees, especially 
if the latter stand in sod or pasture land. The best results 

52 Pecan-Growing 

are secured early in the spring when the stock is vigorous 
and still contains part of its reserve food. The healing of 
wounds is much more satisfactory at that time. 

The stock may vary from young nursery seedlings the size 
of a lead pencil to large trees several feet in diameter, although 
extremes should be avoided. In order to heal over satisfac- 
torily, the diameter of the stock where the bud is inserted 
should not exceed four inches. 

Prior to the discovery that the patch-bud could be placed 
in rough bark, it was necessary to cut back the tops of large 
trees and allow new growth to take place before the buds 
were inserted. This required that the top be removed before 
growth started in the spring, and it was generally the first 
of July before the new growth was mature and large enough 
for budding, thereby limiting the budding season to only a 
few wrecks. When inserted at this season the buds were gen- 
erally allowed to remain dormant until the next spring. 

Three distinct classes of buds are used in patch-budding: 
First, the reserve bud; second, the dormant; third, the cur- 
rent-season bud. 

On every normal pecan tree a considerable number of buds 
do not force out with the beginning of growth in the spring. 
Most of these never force out, usually dropping from the limbs 
the second or third year, unless actually needed by the tree 
to replace some injury. These are usually well developed buds 
and are generally more numerous near the beginning of a 
year's growth. They are to be found on one-, two- and three- 
year-old w^ood. Those on one-year-old wood are to be pre- 
ferred. These reserve buds have the advantage over all other 
kinds in that they can be cut fresh from the tree any time 
during the budding season. It is necessary, however, in 

Propagation of the Pecan 53 

cutting the bud-sticks to destroy all the current season growth 
on that branch, making it unwise to depend on these when 
budwood is scarce or when the trees are loaded with nuts. 

The standard commercial budwood is cut while the tree is 
dormant. This should be taken from strong vigorous shoots 
of the previous season's growth. These shoots generally vary 
in length from eight to twenty inches, and are from one-fourth 
to one inch in diameter. The best buds are round and plump 
and near the base of the shoot. The sharp-pointed flat buds 
on the ridges near the tip ends of the limbs should not be 
used when others can be obtained. 

This budAvood should not be taken too early in the season, 
but cut while the tree is perfectly dormant, usually from the 
first to the middle of February. It should be placed carefully 
in bundles of twelve to fifteen pieces, not over ten to twelve 
inches in length, and securely tied at both ends. Each bundle 
should be labeled as to variety and placed in a small clean 
box with a layer of sand about tw^o inches thick in the bottom. 
On this are laid the bundles, putting one inch of sand on 
top and between them, then another layer of budwood, and 
this process continued until the box has been filled. The box 
should be labeled and placed in cold storage, where the tem- 
perature will not go below thirty-two or above forty-five 
degrees. Sphagnum moss or clean sawdust may replace the 
sand. All wrapping material should be moist, but not wet. 
In case there are no cold storage facilities, the budwood should 
be buried eighteen or twenty inches deep in a cool, shady, well- 
drained place, on the north side of a building, or in a deep 
cool cellar where the temperature is more or less uniform. 

It is important to keep budw^ood perfectly dormant until 
just before using. Before attempting to utilize stored bud- 

54 Pecan-Growing 

wood, it should be placed in a warm moist location until 
the bark begins to slip, which will generally be from twenty- 
four to forty-eight hours. Care should be taken to use 
these buds before they show signs of swelling, as poor success 
' will be attained after they begin to force. 

Until a few years ago, especially while the ring-bud was 
used, the budwood was taken from the current season's growth. 
This required waiting until the first of July, in order to give 
the new growth time to mature. Buds of the current season 
taken before the first of July will seldom live as they are not 
fully developed. It will often be advantageous to cut the 
petiole about one-half inch above the bud, from ten days to 
two weeks before the buds are to be used. The petiole will 
then rub off when the bud is cut. This operation hastens 
maturity of the bud and enables the operator to handle it with 
greater ease. Current season buds will not keep as well as 
the other two forms. They should, therefore, be used as soon 
as possible after being cut from the tree. They are important 
when budding is done late in the season, as it is difficult to 
keep dormant buds for July work, and reserve buds are very 
wasteful of new growth, especially when they are cut. late in 
the season. 

On small nursery stock the patch-bud should be set from 
two to four inches above ground, while on trees from one to 
two inches in diameter it should be from six to eight inches. 
On young seedlings or sprouts under three inches in diameter 
the bud or buds should be placed where the diameter of the 
stock is not over one to two inches. In working over trees, 
care should be taken to set the buds on well placed branches 
and as near the main trunk as possible. The nearer in to the 
main body of the tree the buds are located the more bearing 

Propagation of the Pecan 


surface there will be when the new top is formed. However, 

they should not be inserted where the trunk or limb exceeds 

four inches in diameter, on account of the difficulty in the 

healing of the wound after cutting back. The tendency is to 

use too many buds and to place them too 

far out on the limbs. The buds should be 

set in a clean smooth place where no bud 

has grown before, and always on the 

upper side of limbs so as to enable the 

resulting sprouts to start an upright 


Until a few years ago it was not 
thought practical to insert buds into the 
rough bark of trunks or branches. The 
place for the bud should be prepared by 
first paring down Avith a strong sharp 
knife a space in the rough bark about two 
inches long by one and one-half inches 
wide. This rough bark on the stock 
should be trimmed down until it is ap- 
proximately the same thickness as the 
bark containing the bud. This will allow 
the string used in tying to press tightly 
on the inserted bud, thus insuring the 
cambium layers of both bud and stock 
meeting at all points (Fig. 10). 

The patch-bud is made by first draw- 
ing the budding-knife across the stock, leaving two parallel 
incisions a little less than one inch apart. A sharp pocket 
knife is then used to make two vertical cuts on either side 
about one-half inch apart. Care should be exercised to cut 

Figure 10. 
a, Patch - bud in- 
serted in rough bark 
ou Umb three inches 
in diameter ; h, 
space ^Yhere rough 
bark has l)een pared 
down to same thick- 
ness as barlv con- 
taining bud. 

56 Pecan-Growing 

through the corners so as to prevent hanging when the bud 
is lifted out. The bud should be prepared in the same way. 
The bark on the stock should be lifted carefully until entirely 
free and then pressed back in place. The bark should be 
removed quickly from the stock and the bud promptly 
inserted. It is very important to make the transfer rapidly 
so as to prevent the drying out of the exposed cellular tissues. 
The bud should fit snugly into its new location, held firmly 
in place with the thumb, and tied with a cotton string. 
From five to eight wraps should be made to each bud, and 
the string drawn tightly enough to hold it firmly against the 
stock. Eaffia, dampened corn shucks, and cloth strings can 
be used for wrapping material, but cotton twine is just as 
good and is cheap and easy to handle. It is important to 
have the string cut and ready to use so as not to cause any 

Another method of cutting the patch-bud is giving good 
results when employed by careful operators. The two parallel 
cuts are made as described above, but only one vertical cut 
in the center. The bark is lifted back on either side, the bud 
inserted, and instead of the bark being removed it fits down 
snugly over the sides of the bud. In preparing the bud the 
parallel cuts are made and then the sides cut at an angle 
of about forty-five degrees, thus enabling the bark of the stock 
to fit over them more snugly. 

As soon as a bud is tied into position all cut places should 
be waxed carefully. When thick bark is pared down all the 
cut surface should be covered with wax to prevent cracking. 
The buds should be closely watched and the string cut so as 
to prevent binding as the stock increases in diameter. Instead 
of applying the wax directly to the bud, w^ax cloth may be 

Propagation of the Pecan 57 

placed over it. All cut surfaces are carefully covered and 
only the bud is left exposed. The cloth is placed firmly against 
the sides of the stock with the thumbs and then carefully 
wrapped with twine (Fig. 11). The strings should be cut 
on all living buds from two to three weeks after insertion, 
depending on the condition of the stock. It is easy to tell 

FiGUEE 11. — Patch-budding:, a. Stock : l>, section of bark re- 
moved forming matrix; c, bud-stick; d, section of bark con- 
taining bud to be inserted ; e, bud, inserted, wrapped and 
waxed ; /, young shoot, tied to top of stock left for that pur- 

when a bud is living by pricking the bark supporting it with 
the point of a knife. If it is plump and green, the string 
should be cut on the opposite side from the bud. 

After the string is cut the bud should be forced. The most 
satisfactory method with young nursery stock is to cut off the 
top of the seedling to within eight to twelve inches of the 
bud. In addition, it is often necessarv to remove all native 

58 Pecan-Growing 

buds both below and above the pomt of insertion. It is advis- 
able to force the bud as soon as possible after it has united 
with the stock. After the middle of July buds force slowly 
and seldom make much growth before the dormant season, 
especially if a drought is prevailing. It is, therefore, often 

Figure 12. — After being budded, the young trees are staked 
so that the new growth from the inserted bud may be tied to 
the stake to prevent being broken off by wind. 

advisable to allow buds set after July first, to remain dormant 
until the following spring. Dormant buds forced in early 
spring generally make a cleaner and more vigorous growth 
than those started in late summer the previous year. In 
forcing buds on trunks of seedling trees and on limbs of more 
than one and one-half inches in diameter, it is often advisable 

Propagation of the Pecan 59 

to cut a notch across the stock one-half mch in depth and 
one to two inches long, two to three inches above the 
bud. When this is done, the bud nsually forces without 
snch a severe cutting back of the top, until time for complete 

When the bud starts into growth, the young shoot gen- 
erally makes a very rapid growth and soon becomes brittle 
and top-heavy. To prevent its being broken or blown off, it 
should be staked, when about four inches long, to the stock 
above. Heavy twine should be used and care taken not to 
girdle the young rapidly growing shoot. When the young 
shoot is about two feet long the stub above it should be cut 
and a wooden stake driven into the ground to which the shoot 
should be tied for support. 

Tn working over trees with the patch-bud method the large 
native limbs forming the top should be cut away gradu- 
ally, the last cutting not being made until the second or 
third year after the first buds are inserted. A few limbs 
should be left unbudded to help support the tree until the 
new top is developed, when they should be removed en- 

Some of the advantages of the patch-bud are: A larger 
percentage can usually be made to grow because the cambium 
layers touch at all points, on both bud and stock; the work 
can be done over a longer period of time ; stocks can be used 
from young seedlings to mature trees; if the bud fails to 
take, the stock is not damaged by cutting back; it is not as 
expensive of buds as when cions are used ; a very slight wound 
is made when the bud is inserted so that the place can heal 
rapidly; there is a wider range in securing budwood than 
with anv other method. 

60 Pecan-Growing 


The chip-bud is used both in the nursery and in top-working 
large trees. The stock should be approximately the same size 
as the twig from which the bud is taken. When large trees 
are top-worked by this method it is necessary to remove part 
of the top one season and bud on the new growth the next year. 

The season for chip-budding in most of the southern states 
is from February 20 until April 1, the time varying 
a few days at both ends, depending on whether the season 
is early or late. The best results are secured when the buds 
are inserted just before the stock starts into growth, although 
the work can be continued with fair success until the stock 
has forced into full growth. Budwood from one-fourth to an 
inch in diameter should be taken while the tree is still thor- 
oughly dormant. This wood should be packed in moist but 
not wet sand, moss, or sawdust and put in cold storage, or 
buried in a cool well-drained place where the temperature 
is low enough to prevent forcing of the buds. 

The buds should be inserted in one-year-old wood, although 
two- or even three-year-old wood often gives good results, 
provided it is clean and smooth. A clean smooth place should 
be selected near the base of the stock. The best place for 
making the insertion is between the nodes on the stock and 
not over a bud or joint. A sharp knife should be inserted 
in the stock and pressed downward and slightly inward for 
about one inch. It is advisable to go through the bark and 
into the wood a short distance. The blade should then be 
withdrawn and a crosswise cut slanting downward made at 
the base of the tongue of the previous cut, until it is entirely 
severed. This tongue or chip should, however, be left in 
position until the bud is ready to be inserted. A plump bud 

Propagation of the Pecan 61 

should be cut so as to fit snugly into the notch made in the 
stock. The transfer should be performed quickly so as to 
prevent drying out of the cut surface. The cambium layers 
of the bud and cion should come in contact with each other 
at least on one side and on the top, and it is much better if 
they can be made to fit on all sides. The bud should be held 
firmly in place and tied with cotton twine, or wi^apped first 
with waxed cloth. As soon as the bud is tied in place, all cut 
surfaces should be carefully covered with wax (Fig. 13). 

Figure 13. — Chip-biukling. a, matrix showing at the bottom 
the tip which helps to hold bud in place; 1), bud cut to fit the 
matrix ; c, bud inverted showing wood attached ; d, front 
view of matrix : e, bud inserted : /, waxed cloth showing open- 
ing for bud ; g, bud covered with waxed cloth ; h. bud inserted, 
waxed and wrapped with twine, no cloth used. 

The chip-bud will seldom grow without being forced. When 
growth starts in the spring, all native buds and shoots should 
be removed, both above and below the bud. This should be 
continued until the inserted bud forces out and the young 
shoot is strong enough to starve out all native growth. It 
will sometimes take from ten days to two weeks to force the 



bud, during which time the native buds will have to be 
removed three or four times' (Fig. 14). In case the inserted 
bud dies, one or two native buds should be allowed to grow in 

order to renew the 
stock. As soon as 
the inserted bud 
forces out so that 
the young shoot 
is from four to 
six inches long, it 
should be staked 
to the top, or the 
top removed just 
above the bud and 
a board bound to 
the stock and al- 
lowed to extend 
from eight to 
twelve inches 
above the bud to 
which the shoot 
can be tied. This 
will prevent the 
young shoot from 
being blown off 
by strong winds 
or knocked off in 
any other way. Just as soon as the bud forces out, the string 
should be cut so as to prevent girdling. The cut should be 
made with a sharp knife on the opposite side of the bud. If 
waxed cloth has been used, care must be exercised in removing 

Figure 14. — a, Young seedling showing na- 
tive buds at stage when they should be 
removed in order to hasten forcing of inserted 
bud ; h, with buds removed ; c, 3 oung seedling 
from which buds have not been removed. 

Propagation of the Pecan 63 

it soon after the bud forces into growth^ or else the newly 
forced bud is likely to be severely injured. 

The advantages of chip-budding are: It is easily and 
quickly done ; the bud forces early in the spring and has nearly 
the full season in which to grow ; the work can be performed 
when the weather is cool and agreeable ; buds are easy to keep 
and ship ; a small wound is made which heals over rapidly ; 
if the bud is a failure, new growth can be forced out in time 
to permit patch-budding by the first of July; the method is 
economical of buds, as only one is used. 


Bark-grafting is employed principally in working over 
large trees. The stock varies in size from one to four 
inches in diameter. The cions should be from one-fourth 
to one-half inch in diameter, and from four to six inches long. 
They should contain from two to four buds. The cions should 
be taken when thoroughly dormant and kept in such condition 
until used. The best time to insert the bark-graft is when 
the trees have forced into growth sufficiently for the bark to 
slip freely. 

Prominent well placed limbs of the desired size and correct 
position should be selected and sawed off from ten to eighteen 
inches from the body of the tree or from the junction of a 
large limb. The cut surface is then smoothed off with a sharp 
knife. The bark on one side of the stub is split downward 
from one to two inches and lifted at the corners. If the bark 
is very thick and coarse it can be trimmed or pared down, 
as recommended for the patch-bud. The cion is cut flat on 
one side at a distance of about one and one-half to two inches, 
and forced into the slit. It is preferable to cut the cion so 

64 Pecan-Growing 

that the lowest bud will stand on the outside just above the 
stock. The stock containing the cion is wrappeed securely 
three or four times with stout twine. A small peg a little 
larger than a toothpick is then pushed under the twine on 
either side of the cion. All cut surfaces are carefully waxed 
or the stubs are first wrapped with waxed cloth and then tied. 
The work should be examined every tew days. If cracks occur 
the wound should be rewaxed (Fig. 15). 

Good results are often secured in bark-grafting by slipping 
a small paper sack over the cion and binding it to the stock. 
This will prevent the cion from drying out before it has had 
time to unite, and will protect it in many other ways. The 
sack should be removed as soon as the cion start into growth. 

All native buds should be rubbed off the limb until the cion 
has started into growth and becomes strong enough to hold 
its own. In using large trees one or more native limbs should 
be left either above or below where the cions are to be placed. 
These limbs will support the tree until it has had time to 
renew its top, which will be in one to two years, depending 
on its size. These native limbs should gradually be removed 
as the top is renewed. 

If the stock is over two inches in diameter, two cions should 
be set opposite each other. If both grow, the weakest should 
be removed as soon as the wound is healed. A short time 
after the cions start into growth the string should be cut so as 
to prevent girdling. 

When the shoots on the cion force out they usually make 
very rapid growth and are likely to be blown or broken off 
if not given careful protection. When they are from four 
to six inches long, a board should be bound securely to the 
side of the stock and allowed to project from twelve to fifteen 

Propagation of the Pecan 


inches. The young shoots are securely tied to these supports. 
They should be removed as soon as the sprouts are strong 
enough to support themselves. 


Figure 15. — Bark-graft inserted, wrapped and 
waxed, a, Wedge inserted between bark and twine 
for purpose of closing opening on either side of cion; 
6, bark pared down to make it more pliable and pre- 
vent splitting ; c, cut surface of cion. 

All wounds caused by bark-grafting should be kept care- 
fully waxed or painted until completely healed. 

In case the cions die, one or two selected sprouts should be 
allowed to grow from each stub, and they can either be patch- 
budded the following July or chip-budded the next spring. 

66 Pecan-Growing 

The advantage of the bark-graft method is that when suc- 
cessful the growth starts early in the spring, resulting in 
the development of very strong \dgorous shoots the first season. 
The disadvantages are that it is expensive of budwood and 
makes a very severe wound that is slow in healing. 

Robert P. Morris^ describes a method of modified bark- 
grafting which he terms bark-slot grafting. Some of the 
outstanding features are that the work can be performed 
during a part of the growing season, that very large limbs 
or trunks can be grafted, and that the entire cion, buds and 
all, as well as all cut surfaces, are coated with melted paraffin. 

Further modifications of and improvements on bark-grafting 
methods have been devised by 0. J. AVenzel, of Putney, 
Georgia, who has employed them very successfully in top- 
working pecan trees. He nailed the cions in place rather 
than using the '^Spanish windlass," a method of tying the 
cions in place devised by Morris. The three improvements, 
with directions for application as given by Wenzel, are : nail- 
ing, making the top side of the cion shorter, and straight side 
cuts on the cion just through the bark. Cions of various sizes 
are nailed with appropriate sized nails. The nails should be 
placed high so as to give strength and to locate them at the 
maximum distance from the point where union first takes 
place and is most active, i.e., near the point of the wedge. 
Those most suitable are cigar-box nails. Wire brads of the 
same size may be used, but are not so desirable as there is a 
tendency for the cions to fall off over the heads of the brads 
in high winds. 

In using this method it is well to observe the following 
order and precautions: Cut the cion roughly to shape with 

^Nut Growing, by Robert T. Morris, The MacmiUan Co. 

Propagation of the Pecan 67 

a sharp grafting-knife, making the angle of sides of wedge 
with the long axis acute, and cut slightly through the bark 
at sides of wedge in planes perpendicular with the faces of 
the wedge. Hold the cion over the stock against the chosen 
location, mark carefully around the cion, and cut the bark for 
the slot, but do not loosen the bark more than enough to part 
it. Plane the cion lightly on all cut surfaces with a very 
sharp block plane to freshen and true up all points of con- 
tact, loose bark on stock, insert cion, and nail with no loss of 
time. The cion should make a snug fit on sides and bottom 
without forcing. Melted paraffin is then applied over the 
whole cion and end of stub. It should be hot enough to run 
freely into all cracks and spaces where sap might collect, but 
not enough to scald the bark. Dormant cions will stand a 
higher degree of heat in the melted paraffin than will buds 
inserted in the height of the growing season. The Merri- 
brooke Melter, a type of lantern designed for the purpose, 
is a satisfactory device for handling the melted paraffin. 

The first and most rapid union takes place between the 
loose strip of bark and top of cion. Therefore, the top space 
of the wedge should be ver}^ short and well below the general 
surface of the bark of the stock. 

As soon as convenient after grafting, it is well to go over 
the work and remove the dead cions. These left in place 
afford ideal places for the entrance of rot fungi for as the 
stock grows and the dead cion dries, cracks open alongside 
the cion, breaking the paraffin coating and admitting water 
and spores to the unprotected wood beneath. 

On thrifty stock, cions vr^W grow so rapidly that they will 
demand special care. In general practice, after one is assured 
that the cions are well started into growth, all seedling shoots 

68 Pecan-Growing 

should be allowed to grow. They will nourish the tree and 
protect the cions from the wind to a great extent, but will 
reduce their growth considerably. 


Whip-grafting is practiced only on young nursery trees. 
The stock should be from one to three years old and from one- 
fourth to one inch in diameter. Until the last few years, 
the whip-graft was employed extensively by nurserymen east 
of the Mississippi River. It is now giving way to the patch- 
bud. The whip-graft method seems to give best results in 
moist sections. 

The whip-graft can be made during December, January 
and February. The best results are generally secured just 
before growth starts in the spring. The cions may be taken 
fresh from the tree. They should be of the last year's growth 
and of straight clean wood, and thoroughly dormant when 

The young seedlings in the nursery row are barred off with 
a turning plow and the soil pulled back with a hoe so as to 
expose from two to three inches of the crown of the trees. 
A cloth is drawn around the stock in order to remove all 
dirt and trash. The top is removed with a sharp knife at a 
point from one to three inches below the surface, depending 
on the smoothness of the stock. The cut should be upwards, 
and the surface about three times as long as the diameter 
of the stock. The knife blade should be placed about one-third 
of the distance from the top point and the slit made down- 
ward and inward about one and one-half inches in length. 
The cions should be about the size of a lead pencil, from four 
to six inches long, and should contain from two to four buds. 

Propagation of the Pecan 69 

The cion is cut the same as the stock, the slit being made 
at the butt end. The two should be fitted together and 
wrapped from four to five times with unwaxed cloth or 
string. This wrapping material holds the pieces together 
until they have had time to callus over. Usually the string 
does not need to be cut, as it will rot before girdling the stock. 
As soon as the graft is completed the soil should be piled 
around the cion so that not over one inch at the top will be 
exposed. When growth starts in the spring, all shoots below 
the cions should be removed. In case the cion fails to live, 
one strong shoot from the stock should be allowed to grow. 
It will often become large enough by the first of July to allow 
of patch-budding. The cions that live and force into growth 
should receive careful and thorough cultivation. They will 
ordinarily be ready for transplanting by fall. 

The advantages of whip-grafting are : The work is done 
during December, January and February, w^hen there is little 
else to be done ; the cion is forced out with the beginning of 
growth in the spring, thereby allowing the full season for the 
development of the young top ; the graft is below the ground, 
thereby giving a cleaner and smoother top than can be secured 
by budding. The disadvantages are: The whip-graft is 
wasteful of budwood; it requires considerable time. 

Shipping hudivood. 

The shipping of budwood is now becoming an important 
practice. A considerable quantity is often shipped in such 
poor condition that it is worthless by the time it reaches the 

In packing budwood for shipment care should be taken to 
tie the sticks in small bundles, with moist sphagnum moss or 


Pecan-Gr owing 

paper around each package. The bundles should be wrapped 
carefully with oiled paper and placed in a strong box. As 
soon as received the oiled paper should be removed and the 
package dipped in w^ater and put in cold storage, unless the 
buds are to be used immediately. It is very seldom that bud- 
wood can be shipped successfully for a considerable distance 
when wrapped only in moist paper. 

If it is found that the budwood has become slightly shriv- 
eled on account of drying out during transit, it is often 
advisable to soak the bud sticks in warm water for a few 
hours, when they should be packed in moist sand, moss or 
sawdust before being placed in cold storage. 


The Texas Aggie budding-knife was invented by D. V. 
Shuhart, while a senior horticultural student at the Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College of Texas. The materials needed 
in the construction of this knife are two one and one-half inch 

Figure 16.— Above, a good type of budding-knife ; below, 
Texas Aggie budding tool. 

Stove bolts, two second-hand safety-razor blades and a piece 
of timber, preferably seasoned oak, ash, hickory or pecan, 
about eight inches long, one and one-fourth inches wide and 
one inch thick. Two longitudinal cuts, parallel and about 

Propagation of the Pecan 


Figure 17. — A home-made double blade 

seven-eighths of an inch apart, should be made with a fine- 
toothed saw perpendicular to the one and one-half inch 
surface of the timber and should extend down five inches 
from one end. Tavo holes should be drilled one inch and three 
inches respectively 
from the same end, 
through which the 
three - sixteenth - inch 
stove bolts should be 
inserted. These holes 
are drilled in a line 

drawn through the center of the one-inch surface of the 
timber and are perpendicular to it. The surface between 
the bolts on the one-and-one-fourth-inch side of the piece of 
timber should be cut down to a depth of about one-fourth 
inch. The length of the piece removed should not be as great 
as that of the safety-razor blades, which should be inserted in 
the two longitudinal cuts between the two bolts, and should be 
clamped in securely by tightening the bolts (Fig. 16). 

A budding-knife very popular with the nurserymen is rep- 
resented in Fig. 17. 
These knives are 
made by riveting two 
one-bladed rigid 
knives, — two ordi- 
nary budding-knives 
will serve, — to a wooden handle, so as to make the blades 
parallel and about one inch apart. 

There are a number of budding-tools on the market and 
the propagator should select the type which best suits his 
purpose. (See Figs. 18, 19 and 20.) 

Figure IS. — A budding tool. 




The principal ingredients of grafting-Avaxes in common use 
in this country are resin, beeswax, linseed oil, alcohol and tur- 
pentine. The most popular of these are resin, beeswax 
and tallow. The proportions in all the mix- 
tures are varied according to the purpose for 
which they are to be used and also for the 
convenience of the propagator. 

The function of resin in the mixture is to 
raise the melting point or to produce hardness 
in the grafting-wax. The 
beeswax gives toughness and 
elasticity, and tallow or lin- 
seed oil softness to the mix- 
ture. Alcohol produces both 
softness and adhesiveness. 

Grafting-wax to be used in 
winter should contain a larger 
proportion of tallow or linseed oil to make it 
sufficiently soft to be applied easily. When 
the wax is to be employed in summer, the 
resin is increased to prevent its being melted 
by the hot sunshine. The ratio of tallow or 
linseed oil to the other ingredients in grafting- 
wax, which is to be kept warm over a stove 
or lantern and applied in a melted condition, 
should be rather low. Paraffin, however, is 
often used for this purpose instead of grafting wax. Paraffin 
does not adhere to the buds or cions as well as some of the 
grafting-wax mixtures; though it is less expensive and in 
many instances serves the purpose equally as well. 

Figure 19. — 
A tool used in 

Figure 20. — 
A tool used for 
annular or ring- 

Propagation of the Pecan 73 

Alcoholic Wax 

Resin 2 pounds 

Beeswax 1 pound 

Alcohol 180 cubic centimeters 

or 2/5 of a pint. 

The resin and beeswax should be melted over a slow fire, 
but not allowed to boil, as this may cause the ingredients to 
volatilize and thus vary the proportion of each. It should 
be heated for about five minutes after it has apparently melted. 
When it is completely melted it should be removed from 
the fire. The mixture must be stirred constantly while cooling 
to prevent adhering to the sides of the container and becoming 
hard. When it has cooled to the degree that it feels warm, 
not hot, to the palm of the hand, one should begin to add the 
alcohol, pouring it in very slowly and stirring vigorously and 
constantly. This should be continued until the mixture is 
somewhat granular in texture and golden-yellow in color. 
Pure gi^ain alcohol is the best ; wood alcohol may be used, and 
denatured will give good results if it is known not to be 
denatured with some substance injurious to the bud. 

LixsEED Oil Wax 

Resin 2 pounds 

Beeswax 1 pound 

Linseed oil 1 pint or enough 

to soften 

Only high-grade linseed oil, which may be purchased from 
any drug store or paint shop, should be used. The resin and 
beeswax are melted together and allowed to cool partially, 
as in the making of alcoholic wax. The linseed oil is added 
in the same way as the alcohol. 

74 Pecan-Growing 

Tallow Wax 

Resin 4 parts by weight 

Beeswax 2 parts by weight 

Tallow 1 part by weight 

The ingredients are broken into small pieces and may be 
placed into the pot together, but preferably the resin is melted 
first over a gentle fire and the beeswax and tallow added. 
Boiling must be avoided. After the ingredients melt the 
mixture should be stirred thoroughly and poured into cold 
w^ater. As soon as it cools enough to be handled it is worked 
and pulled until it turns a yellowish-white, resembling mo- 
lasses candy which has been pulled. It is then divided into 
convenient sized balls or sticks, wrapped in oil paper, and 
stored away until needed. 

Liquid Wax 

Resin 1 pound 

Beeswax 1 ounce 

Turpentine 1 tablespoonf ul 

Alcohol 5 ounces 

The resin should be melted, tallow added, and removed 
from the fire and the liquids stirred in gradually. This mix- 
ture remains fluid. It is stored in cans or bottles and is 
applied with a brush. 

Some pecan propagators have secured excellent results from 
the use of paraffin as a substitute for grafting-wax w^hen it is 
applied in a melted condition by means of a brush. It has 
been especially successful in the top-working of pecan trees 
with both the patch-bud and the slot-bark-graft methods. 
The cheapest form of paraffin is the ordinary commercial 
product sold under the trade name of parawax. This grade 
is ordinarily satisfactory, but if the propagator finds it neces- 

Propagation of flic Pecan 75 

sary he can purchase paraffin with either low, intermediate, 
or high melting points (Fig. 21). 

AVaxed string is made by placing balls of cotton twine or of 
Xo. 18 or 20 knitting cotton in a hot mix- 
ture of two parts of resin and one part of 
beeswax for a few minutes, then removed 
and allowed to drain and cool before being 

Waxed cloth is best made of old cotton 
sheets or similar material torn in strips 
about tAvo inches wide. The strips are 
then dipped in a melted mixture of two 
parts resin and one part beeswax and 
drawn over a board or the side of the con- 
tainer to cause the excess wax to drain off. 
When the strips have cooled they are 
folded in such a way as to form two-inch 
squares or ''patches." A hole is made in 
the center by driving a nail through them or with a leather 
punch. These "patches'' are used extensively in patch- 

Figure 21. — A 
paraffin inelter. 


The pecan adapts itself to a very wide range of soil con- 
ditions, few other trees surpassing it in this respect. In the 
early stages of the industry, however, very diverse opinions 
existed. Some considered it impossible to grow pecans with 
any degree of success except on soils similar to those on which 
the indigenous forests were found. A few growers contended 
that a pecan tree would not bear until its tap-root reached 
permanent water. Others took the contrary view that the 
pecan came into bearing earlier and was more prolific upon 
the uplands removed from the alluvial soils of the river val- 
leys. Subsequent experiences have shown that the better 
classes of both these general soil types, the great areas of 
uplands usually planted to corn and cotton and the flood 
plains of the river basins, are well adapted to pecan-culture. 

The pecan requires a well-drained soil for the production 
of maximum crops. It is acid-tolerant, making better growth 
on soils slightly acid than on those neutral or alkaline. Pecan 
trees cannot be grown successfully on wet ^ ^ craw-fishy ' ' ill- 
drained land where stagnant water stands on or just beneath 
the surface a greater part of the time. Because the pecan 
grows so luxuriantly along banks where the river frequently 
overflows for weeks at a time does not indicate the adaptability 
of this nut to wet and sour soils. Careful observations show 
that these lands are considerably above water level, except 


Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 77 

during flood stages of the stream, and are capable of sup- 
porting a great variety of plants not at all aquatic in nature. 
The occasional flood waters are really beneficial rather than 
detrimental to pecan trees, since they bring doAvn rich deposits 
of soil which furnish great abundance of readily available 
plant-food after the flood waters subside. The pecan is fitted 
by nature, with its strong sturdy trunk and limbs of great 
elasticity, to resist the flood waters of swollen streams, but 
cannot endure the still stagnant seep of a marshy soil. "Where 
the willow and gum-tree are at their best, the pecan tree is 
out of place. Land too wet and sour for the production of 
general farm crops should not be planted to pecan trees. 

Cut-over lands from which the merchantable timber has 
been removed should be cleared of the younger trees and of 
as many stumps as possible and cultivated to some annual 
farm crop for at least two years before being planted to pecan 
trees. It is very expensive to remove all the stumps when 
the land is first cleared. It is more economical to grow some 
cleanly cultivated crop and to allow the smaller stumps to 
decay. As long as decaying roots and stumps remain in the 
soil, wood-lice will be harbored in them and attack the young 
pecan trees.^ Furthermore, newly cleared land is likely to 
contain too much acidity or sourness for satisfactory growth 
of young pecan trees. The growing of corn and cowpeas or 
velvet beans and fairly clean cultivation for about two years, 
provided the land is well drained, will reduce the acidity 
sufficiently to start a pecan orchard. A quicker reduction 
of the acidity would, of course, be effected by liming the soil. 
The yields of farm crops on land the first year after reclaim- 
ing from the forest are usually small ; but by the second year 

^ See Chapter XI. 

78 Pecan-Growing 

they should pay more than the expenses of cultivation. If 
a prospective grower has his nursery stock on hand and is 
willing to cope with unfavorable soil conditions, he may plant 
his trees the first year after clearing. Strips of land where 
the trees are to be set should be well broken as long in advance 
as possible. Strict precautions should be taken to leave no 
pieces of decaying roots and limbs in the holes where the 
young tree is to be set or close around it to attract termites. 
The strips of land between the rows can be plowed later. The 
sprouts coming up from the forest tree stumps should be cut 
off as they appear. This is a rather crude method of starting 
a pecan orchard and the grower should be in a position to 
give the trees very close attention for the first two or three 


In its native range the pecan flourishes on the alluvial soils 
of the Mississippi Valley and other western streams. It grows 
well also on the upland sandy loam soils of the more eastern 
states adapted to the growth of corn, oats, and cotton. The 
pecan is influenced more by the fertility, humus, and mois- 
ture-content of the soil than by any particular type. 

The Norfolk, Orangeburg, Tifton, and Greenville are among 
the important soil series in the southern United States 
and eastern Texas and these have been utilized extensively 
for pecan-growing. 

The Norfolk soils are characterized by the light grayish- 
yellow color of the surface, and by the yellow color and friable 
structure of the subsoils. They occupy nearly level or rolling 
uplands throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains and 
have been derived mainly from Piedmont- Appalachian mate- 

.-^ ^ A' ''-i^Tv^ '1 

i *,. ; V 

^ i- 




Soils aivd Fertilizers for Pecans 79 

rial. The soils of this series include sands, loamy sands, 
gravel, gravelly sands, coarse sands, fine sands, very fine 
sands, sandy loam, fine sandy loams, silt loams, and clay 

The Orangeburg series are marked by their gray to reddish- 
brown color and open structure. The subsoil consists of a 
red friable sandy clay. They are confined to the uplands of 
the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains. The soils include sands, 
coarse sands, fine sands, sandy loams, gravelly sandy loams, 
and fine sandy loams. 

The Tifton soils are gray to grayish-brown in color and 
are underlain by bright yellow friable sandy clay subsoils. 
Small iron concretions occur on the surface and throughout 
the soil section. They are always well-drained. The soil 
occurs as sands, sandy loams, and coarse sandy loams. 

The Greenville soil series are reddish-brown to dark red, 
having a subsoil of deep red sandy clay. They are closely 
associated with members of the Orangeburg series. These 
soils are more retentive of moisture than the corresponding 
members of the Orangeburg series. These series occur as 
coarse sands, loamy sands, fine sands, sandy loams, gravelly 
sandy loams, coarse sandy loams, fine sandy loams, loamy 
gravelly loams, clay loams, and clay. 

The loams, sandy loams, and clay loams of the soil types 
described above are well suited to pecans. Most of the best 
orchards are on the Orangeburg loams and sandy loams. 

The ideal soils of these types are the loams and sandy loams 
having a mellow surface soil underlain at a depth of eight to 
ten inches by a friable loamy or sandy clay, sufficiently heavy 
to retain the nutrient constituents and not too stiff to resist 
or retard the development of young roots. The surface soil 

80 Tecan-Growing 

should contain a considerable amount of organic matter, which 
will enable it to retain sufficient moisture to keep the trees 
supplied even in times of drought. 

Coarse and deep sands, especially where the water table is 
low, and clay soils w^here the subsoil is near the surface, are 
not suited for pecans and should not be utilized for this 

The alluvial soils of the flood plains of the Mississippi 
Valley, where pecans are native and which have been utilized 
to some extent for planting the improved varieties, are entirely 
different in character from those of the uplands just described. 
The principal soil types are the Yazoo and Sharkey series. 

The surface soil of the Yazoo series ranges from gray, 
slightly darkened with organic matter, to light brown, while 
the subsoils are mottled grayish, rusty-brown, and sometimes 
bluish. These soils constitute the best drained types of the 
flood plains. The sandy loams and fine sandy loams are un- 
derlain at a depth of about twelve inches by a brown fine 
sandy loam and at about twenty-four inches by a bluish col- 
ored clay loam. It is a productive rich soil. 

The soils of the Sharkey series are of a yellowish-brown to 
drab color with mottled, rusty-brown, bluish, drab, and yellow- 
ish subsoils of plastic structure. These soils contain a high 
percentage of clay. They occur as bottom lands subject to 
overfiow. They are poorly drained, and on drying, the soil 
cracks readily and forms small aggregates, which has given 
rise to the name ^^ buckshot" land. 

There is a rather broad strip of country lying between the 
coastal plains and Appalachian Mountains extending from 
southern Virginia through the Carolinas, Georgia, and a part 
of Alabama, which has not been generally recommended for 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 81 

pecan plantings, but which is beginning to receive some at- 
tention for this purpose. Heretofore, it has been generally 
agreed that as the mountains were approached congenial con- 
ditions for growing the pecan were left behind. For this 
reason, practically all commercial plantings of pecans in the 
southeastern states w^ere confined almost entirely to the coastal 
plains soils. The soils of the piedmont range from gray to 
red with a red clay subsoil and are grouped generally as Cecil 
soils. They are well drained and retentive of moisture when 
properly managed. The limited number of plantings made 
thus far have given surprisingly good results. The trees 
begin bearing early, are usually prolific, and the nuts, in some 
instances, fill better than those of the same variety grown 
near the coast. With the constant improvement of varieties 
and the rapid development of the pecan industry it is ex- 
pected that more commercial plantings will be made on the 
piedmont soils. 

In west Texas the well-drained alluvial soils along the 
inland streams seem best adapted to pecans. These are de- 
rived from the various formations through which these streams 
pass and are composed chiefly of silt loams, very fine sandy 
loams, silty clay loams, loams, fine sandy loams, and clays. 
These soils are rich in plant-food and require very little if 
any fertilizing. 

Soils poor in fertility, lacking in humus and moisture-hold- 
ing capacity should not be planted to pecans unless they can 
be improved and maintained economically. Deep porous 
sandy soils which leach and oxidise their humus and plant- 
food very rapidly can sometimes be built up to support satis- 
factory growth ; but the expense of the soil building exceeds 
the value of the orchard. Pecan trees planted on this type 

82 Pecan-Growing 

of soil rosette severely and sooner or later abandonment 
becomes necessary. Occasionally a soil type is found which 
apparently is suitable for growing pecans, but the subsoil 
shows some form of impervious hardpan or soft leachy sand 
entirely unsuited to the development of the trees. Pecans 
should not be planted on wet sour lands, or badly eroded or 
washed hillsides until they are put into condition to support 
healthy vigorous trees. 

Lands which support only small scrubby forests should not 
be expected to grow good pecans, but where good specimens 
of hickory trees thrive without any special attention or fertiliz- 
ers, it is fairly certain that the same soil will be suitable for 
pecan trees. Field or truck crops are also good indicators 
of the ability of the soil to grow pecans. In some instances, 
however, soils which produce rather poor annual crops may 
raise good pecans. This is thought to be due to a subsoil 
containing an unusual amount of plant-food and moisture. 
The pecan, being a deep-rooted perennial, can penetrate to 
greater depth than the average annual which feeds chiefly 
on the surface soil. Generally speaking, however, pecans 
should not be planted on land unless it is known to be able 
to produce from one-half to a bale of cotton and from thirty 
to forty bushels of corn an acre in normal seasons. 


In setting land to pecans, some definite and consistent 
soil-building policy should be adopted, or better still, 
soil improvement should be practiced for a year or two before 
setting the trees. The deep rich alluvial soils of river valleys 
do not present the same {fertilizing problems as do the light 
sandy upland soils. 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 83 

Stable manure supplemented with acid phosphate makes a 
very satisfactory fertilizer for pecans. The beneficial effects 
in increasing the water-holding capacity and the bacterial 
flora of the soil, as well as improving its general mechanical 
condition, extend far beyond the plant-food content of the 
stable manure as shown by analysis. In actual plant-food, 
100 pounds of cottonseed meal contains more nitrogen than 
does a half ton of stable manure. However, when they are 
both applied to the soil, the stable manure would probably 
produce the better tree growth. Unfortunately stable manure 
is seldom available in sufficiently large quantities to be de- 
pended on as a source of fertilizer for large plantings of 
pecans. From one-quarter to one-half a ton to a tree, de- 
pending on its size, applied in late winter or early spring, is 
satisfactory. It should be spread in a circle around the tree 
extending out about twice the spread of the limbs and plowed 
under or harrowed into the soil. From five to fifteen pounds 
of acid phosphate may be applied to each tree, and worked 
into the soil with the stable manure. 

The use of cover-crops. 

The importance of cover-crops for improving soils for 
pecans is well recognized. The most economical method is 
probably less understood than the use of commercial or 
chemical fertilizers. For a long time it was thought that 
turning under cover-crops while green would cause an acid 
reaction in the soil which would be detrimental to plant 
growth. Numerous experiments have proved this to be a 
fallacy, however. 

Fertilizing materials are valued for their content of phos- 
phoric acid, nitrogen, and potash. Lime, magnesia, and iron 

84 Pecan-Growing 

are usually present in the soil in much greater abundance 
than the crops demand or can use, while most soils are 
deficient in phosphoric acid, nitrogen and potash, in an 
available form. A cover-crop contains only the amount 
of phosphoric acid and potash that it has taken from the 
soil itself, and at most it returns only that which was 
borrowed. Nitrogen is obtained directly from the air in 
the soil. 

As found naturally in the soil, both phosphoric acid and 
potash are almost insoluble in water. However, in the re- 
mains of plants the potash is in soluble form and the phos- 
phoric acid is combined with lime and other bases which, 
although somewhat insoluble in water, are in a form that can 
be acted on much more readily by the roots of growing plants 
than can the natural phosphates of iron and aluminum. 
Therefore, while the cover-crop merely returns something 
which it has taken from the soil, it gives it back in a more 
available form. The effect, so far as the phosphoric acid in 
the cover-crop is concerned, is much the same as that obtained 
by treating rock phosphate with sulfuric acid to bring it into 
a form to be readily utilized by growing plants. 

Cover-crops, especially the deep-rooted species, render an- 
other important service in bringing a portion of the phos- 
phoric acid and potash up from greater depths of the soil and 
leaving it in the decayed plants in the surface layer, where it 
will be better aerated and more available. As the pecan 
is so deep-rooted it would seem that this would be of little 
advantage ; however, the pecan obtains a very large percentage 
of its plant-food from the surface layer of the soil, very little 
deeper than that used for the support of the ordinary annual 
farm crops. In special instances in which the tree draws much 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 85 

of its nourishment from great depths, the subsoil affords 
unusual conditions for root spread and nourishment. 

Careful analyses have shown that most agricultural soils 
contain, within the first two feet of the surface, enough phos- 
phoric acid and potash to meet the fullest demands of a 
pecan orchard for more than two generations of men. The 
importance of making available more of these vast stores 
should certainly not be overlooked. 

Aside from bringing certain mineral elements up from the 
greater depths of the soil and rendering them more readily 
available to the growing plant, cover-crops, when turned 
under and incorporated with the soil, greatly increase its 
moisture-holding capacity, which in many respects is more 
important and more beneficial to pecan trees than are large 
quantities of mineral fertilizers added without this organic 
material. Moreover, the solubility of calcium, magnesium, 
iron, and phosphoric acid is measurably increased by the addi- 
tion of liberal cover-crop materials to the soil. This is caused 
in part by the action of the inorganic salts on the organic 
substances or their extracts, and in part by the solvent action 
of the soluble organic compounds formed during organic de- 
composition. Such action of organic material incorporated 
with the soil has a decidedly beneficial effect towards over- 
coming rosette in pecan trees as w^ell as in promoting a more 
vigorous growth. 

While the phosphoric acid and potash in the soil are fixed 
quantities, except when foreign materials such as commercial 
fertilizers are added, the quantities of nitrogen available vary 
with the ability of the leguminous cover-crop to extract it 
from the air in the soil. The gain in nitrogen is brought 
about by nitrogen-gathering bacteria (micro-organisms) which 

86 Pecan-Growing 

form nodules and live on the roots of leguminous plants, such 
as clovers, peas, beans, beggarweed, vetches, and the like, 
and have the power of feeding directly on the free nitrogen 
of the atmosphere and thus fixing it in solid form. Each 
group or class of legumes requires a specific strain or type of 
nitrogen-gathering bacteria for most satisfactory growth, and 
unless the soil is already inoculated the bacteria should be 
introduced from commercial cultures or by adding soil from 
fields producing good growths of such legumes. 

The amounts of plant-food in cover-crops vary with the kind 
of plant and the amount of growth produced. The relative 
quantities of the three most commonly deficient elements in 
plants used for cover-crops have been determined by a large 
number of investigators. 

It is decidedly difficult to give an accurate valuation of 
cover-crops, since their infiuence on the texture and the water- 
holding capacity of the soil may exceed the actual value of 
the mineral elements of the plant-food which they contain. 
However, for the sake of comparison they are valued on the 
basis of their content of phosphoric acid, nitrogen, and potash. 

Since nitrogen has more than double the value of potash 
and four times that of phosphoric acid, it is the chief element 
of plant-food to be considered in growing a cover-crop to be 
turned under. This is especially true as the average analysis 
shows a much higher percentage of nitrogen than of either 
phosphoric acid or potash. The grower, by knowing the com- 
position of his cover-crop, can easily determine the fertilizing 
value by calculation on the basis of his yields. 

Just what cover-crop the grower should use will depend 
very largely on local conditions. Whether he shall select a 
legume or a non-legume as a winter or a summer cover- 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 87 

crop or both is a problem of soil management or farm 
practice for the indiA^dual grower. Among the more promis- 
ing winter cover-crops for the pecan orchard a^.^e rye, vetch, 
crimson clover, bnrr clover, alfalfa, oats, turnips, and rape, 
while some for summer are beggarweed, bush velvet beans, 
soybeans, Japan clover, and alfalfa. Kudzu, a perennial 
legume which makes a very rank or strong vine growth, is 
receiving some attention. 

Cowpeas have long been popular as a summer cover-crop 
for pecan groves, but since they harbor a species of Hemiptera 
(squash-bug) which attacks the young nuts during the sum- 
mer and causes kernel-spot, it is advisable not to plant them 
in regions in which kernel-spot is prevalent. 

Soil type and climatic conditions are important factors in 
the adaptation of cover-crops to any region. The combination 
and time of planting and turning under or harvesting the 
crops should be so arranged as not to interfere with the 
harvesting of the nuts. AYhen feasible, those cover-crops 
which reseed themselves naturally should be selected so as to 
avoid the expense of purchasing seed each year. 

It is usually difficult for even the experienced pecan-grower 
to establish a stand of the southern burr clover over any con- 
siderable area, but when this can be done it affords a very 
desirable winter cover-crop. It matures its seed in April and 
early May, at which time it may be turned under and the 
land sown to a summer cover-crop, as soybeans, bush velvet 
beans, or cowpeas. Unless the land is decidedly deficient in 
organic matter, the summer cover-crop may be cut off for hay 
in late August or September. The seeds of the burr clover 
which were turned in ]\Iay will germinate in early fall and 
will produce a good winter cover-crop. 

88 Pecan-Growing 

Similar combinations with other cover-crops may be ar- 
ranged when two are grown on the soil each year. The 
organic content usually can be kept up if one of them is 
turned under, while the other may be cut and removed for 
hay. However, unless the grower is reasonably sure that the 
humus and plant-food content of the soil are being maintained, 
both cover-crops should be turned under each year. 

Commercial fertilizers. 

The chief function of each of the three essential fertilizer 
elements, phosphoric acid, nitrogen and potash, in the nour- 
ishment of plants should be understood in order that they may 
be applied to the soil more intelligently and economically. 
Other elements, as sulfur, iron, calcium, and magnesium, are 
essential to growth, but since they are usually present in the 
soil in sufficient quantities to supply readily the needs of the 
growing plants, they need not receive serious attention in 
compounding a suitable fertilizer mixture for pecans. 

The function of phosphorus is to hasten maturity and in- 
crease the percentage of seed or fruit in proportion to the 
size of the plant. It also stimulates root growth. Phosphorus 
is taken into the plant in solution, as calcium phosphate. It 
is assisted in circulating through the plant by magnesium, 
and combines in the cells with nitrogen, sulfur, carbon, hydro- 
gen, and other elements to form protoplasm. Phosphorus 
applied to soils containing large amounts of nitrogen has a 
decidedly balancing effect in preventing the plant from going 
too much to leafy and woody growth. 

Nitrogen promotes a vigorous growth of leaf, stem, and 
wood. It sometimes hastens blooming but delays maturity. 
It is taken into the plant, in solution, as nitrates, and pro- 

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90 Pecan-Growing 

duces a dark green color in the foliage. Nitrogen is assisted 
in its circulation from the leaves to the fruit by phosphorus. 
It is a valuable element of plant-food when it is desired to 
rush the growth of young plants. 

The chief function of potassium is the formation of starch 
and cellulose. It thickens the cell-walls and makes the plant 
more rigid. It goes into the plant in solution as do other 
foods and assists in the assimilation or utilization of phos- 
phorus and nitrogen. It increases root development and in 
some instances enables plants to resist disease. Like nitrogen, 
it delays maturity. 

The source of the various elements of plant-food that make 
up a fertilizer is important in order to get the slowly available 
and quickly available elements in the correct proportion. 
There is frequently a great discrepancy between the costs of 
plant-food from different sources, and it behooves the grower 
to select such materials as will give him the desired fertilizer 
mixture at the least cost. 

Fertilizer experiments. 

Various fertilizer mixtures have been proposed for both 
young and bearing pecan trees by practical growers and 
investigators. While there is a wide range in the mix- 
tures recommended, enough experimental data have been 
accumulated under actual orchard conditions to be indi- 
cative of the plant-food requirements of the pecan on 
a number of soil types used for commercial plantings. 
Even though the pecan-grower has the results of carefully 
conducted fertilizer experiments on the same soil type as his 
own, he should give serious thought to fertilizing his trees. 
Especially should he observe the effect of each fertilizer ma- 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 91 

terial if his soil is of a different type or geological formation 
from those on which tests have been conducted. 

The influence of cover-crops on the effect of fertilizer mix- 
tures deserves close observation. Orchards in which legu- 
minous cover-crops have been grown and turned under will 
require a fertilizer with less nitrogen than one with no cover- 

Fertilizer experiments with pecans conducted by J. J. 
Skinner of the United States Department of Agriculture show 
the influence of phosphates, ammonia, and potash when used 
singly and in combination of two and three. He employed 
the triangular system of experimentation which included 
twenty-one fertilizers or combinations, covering the field of 
ratios or formulas. Four years' work on various soil types 
and with different ages and varieties of pecan trees shows in- 
creased yields of nuts and improvement in vigor of the trees 
by certain of the fertilizers. Summaries of the results on two 
soil types for 1921 are representative of the effect of the 
fertilizer on the yield and the quality of the nuts as reported 
by Skinner.^ 

The Greenville sandy loam is one of the strongest pecan 
soils. It has a brown to red surface soil which is underlain 
by a deep red subsoil. Four-year-old Stuart, Pabst, and 
Schley pecan trees were given five pounds of fertilizer each in 
1918 and in 1919 ; in 1920 and 1921, ten pounds ; and in 1922, 
twenty pounds. In addition to the use of phosphoric acid, 
nitrogen, and potash singly and of three complete fertilizers, 
namely a 9-3-3, a 3-9-3, and a 3-3-9 mixture, there were in the 
experiment six fertilizers with a high proportion of phosphate 
and a low proportion of ammonia and potash; six mixtures 

^Proceedings Ga.-Fla. Pecan Growers' Assoc, 1922. 

92 Pecan-Growing 

Avith high proportions of potash and low proportions of phos- 
phate and ammonia ; and six mixtures with high proportions 
of ammonia and low proportions of the other two constituents. 
Table VI gives the yield of nuts from the Stuart trees secured 
in 1921 from each of these fertilizers and from the groups. 
A large number of trees was used for each fertilizer treatment. 
The figures in the table represent the average yield to a tree. 


I:^FLrENCE OF Fertilizers ox the Yield, axd Size and Quality of 
Pecans on the Greenville Sandy Loam. (Stuart Variety.) 
Analyses by P. D. Boone. 

Yield Nuts Lengrth Diam. Meat Protein Oil 

of nuts per of of in in in 

per tree pound Nut Nut Nut Meat Meat 

Fertilizer treatment Lbs. No. 64 in. 64 in. % % % 

Phosphate 3 52 94 60 46.8 9.1 72.5 

Ammonia 8 49 94 60 46.7 11.4 72.0 

Potash 3 59 93 60 46.1 10.5 73.9 


9-3-3 24 63 108 56 61.5 8.2 76.6 

3-9-3 13 50 96 62 48.2 10.2 73.3 

3-3-9 8 52 97 60 44.8 8.9 74.0 

Aver. 6 high phosphate fert... 7 51 98 61 45.2 9.6 73.2 

'' 6 " ammonia '' . . 9 49 100 62 47.1 10.2 72.4 

'' 6 " potash " .. 6 53 94 59 47.0 9.7 74.1 

No fertilizers 4 53 95 61 46.0 8.3 73.0 

The Orangeburg sandy loam is one of the principal soil 
types oceuring in the pecan belt. It has a gray to brownish 
surface soil which is underlain by a red subsoil. Nine-year- 
old Schley, Stuart, and Alley trees were given twenty pounds 
of fertilizer each in 1918, 1919, 1920, and 1921. In 1922, 
thirty pounds to a tree were applied. The results for the 
Schley variety in 1921 are given in Table VII. 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 93 

TABLE yil 

Influence of Fertilizers on the Yield, and Size and Quality of 
Pecans on the Orangeburg Sandy Loam. (Schley Variety.) 
Analyses by P. D. Boone. 

Yield Nuts Length Diam. Meat Protein Oil 

of nuts per of of in in in 

Per tree pound Nut Nut Nut Meat Meat 

Fertilizer treatment Lbs. No. 64 in. 64 in. % % % 

Phosphate 23 61 108 55 61.9 8.4 77.6 

Ammonia 28 59 101 58 63.4 9.0 76.6 

Potash 24 66 108 57 62.6 8.8 78.4 


9-3-3 10 51 96 61 46.4 9.8 72.4 

3-9-3 31 62 109 56 63.2 9.8 76.7 

3-3-9 29 66 109 54 62.9 9.0 78.6 

Aver, of 6 high phosphate fert. 25 64 108 56 61.9 8.9 76.8 

u .. u u ammonia '' . 27 61 108 57 63.1 9.3 76.5 

" *'" " potash " . 23 63 108 55 62.9 8.8 78.0 

No fertilizer 22 66 107 54 62.0 8.7 76.5 

Ammonia produced a higher yield on both soil types than 
did phosphate or potash when these materials were used 
singly. In a like manner, those fertilizer mixtures high in 
ammonia yielded more nuts than did those high in either 
phosphate or potash. In turn, each of these produced more 
nuts than the unfertilized trees. The use of fertilizers in- 
creased the size of the nuts slightly. Those high in ammonia 
produced larger and better filled nuts than did those mixtures 
high in phosphate or potash but low in ammonia. The kind 
of fertilizer has a very marked influence on the protein- 
content of the nut. When the constituents were used separately 
ammonia gave a much higher content of protein in the nut 
than did either the phosphate or potash. Nuts from the un- 
fertilized trees contained the least protein. Fertilizers high 
in potash develop oil in pecans. In some instances, fertilizers 
high in potash produced nuts with an increase of as much as 

94 Pecan-Growing 

2 per cent of oil. Potash also resulted in nuts with clearer 
meats having a lighter color than did either phosphate or 

In 1921, Skinner extended the experiment to include some 
commercial orchards planted on Greenville, Orangeburg, and 
Norfolk sandy loam soils. He used a fertilizer containing 9 
per cent phosphoric acid, 5 per cent ammonia, and 3 per cent 
potash, covering an area of about 100 acres. Twenty pounds 
to a tree were applied, while a number of adjacent trees were 
left unfertilized as checks. A cover-crop of cowpeas was 
grown over the entire area. The yields from the Orangeburg 
soil were representative of the results. Here the fertilized 
area produced 330 pounds of pecans to the acre, while the 
unfertilized area yielded only 260 pounds. Skinner says, 
'^This is an average increase of 3.5 pounds of nuts per tree 
or 70 pounds per acre. With the cost of the fertilizer at 
$32.75 per ton, the amount applied, 400 pounds per acre, cost 
$6.75. The 70 pounds of additional nuts secured from the 
fertilized acre, cost slightly under ten cents per pound. ' ' 

Fertilizer mixtures for pecans. 

Pecan trees in Orangeburg, Greenville, Norfolk and 
Tifton sandy loams or similar soils, up to seven or 
eight years after being set to the orchard, should re- 
ceive from five to fifteen pounds to a tree each year of 
a fertilizer analyzing 8 to 9 per cent phosphoric acid, 5 to 6 
per cent ammonia, and 3 per cent potash. After this age, the 
ammonia may be reduced, using a mixture that will analyze 
from 8 to 9 per cent phosphoric acid, 4 to 5 per cent ammonia, 
and 3 to 4 per cent potash. The amount of fertilizer should 
be increased two to three pounds each year, that is, a nine to 


Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 95 

ten-year-old specimen should be given twenty pounds, an 
eleven to twelve-year-old twenty-five pounds and so on, until 
thirty to forty pounds to a tree each year is reached. As the 
trees grow larger, the amounts may be increased further ac- 
cording to their needs. The fertilizers should be used in con- 
junction with liberal amounts of organic matter supplied as 
cover-crops turned under or as stable manure. Fertilizers 
will not give maximum returns with a soil deficient in organic 
matter and incapable of retaining moisture. 

The fertilizer should be applied to the soil just before 
growth begins in the spring. It should be spread uniformly 
in a concentric circle around the tree, allowing the radius of 
the outer circle to equal the height of the tree. The inner 
circle, marking the distance the fertilizer should be kept away 
from the trunk of the tree, may be only ten or twenty inches 
from very small individuals one and two years old, gradually 
increasing in size until the fertilizer is kept eight or ten feet 
away from the trunks of large trees. It may be worked into 
the soil by hand or by harroAV. 

Available materials most commonly employed in making up 
a fertilizer mixture for pecans are acid phosphate, and some- 
times bonemeal, as a source of phosphorus, and muriate of 
potash, sulfate of potash or kainit as a source of potash. The 
ammonia is generally derived from two general types of con- 
stituents, the quickly available, as nitrate of soda and sulfate 
of ammonia, and the slowly available as cottonseed meal, blood, 
tankage, and fish scrap. 

Skinner shows the correct proportions for mixing some 
of these constituents to make a fertilizer containing 9 per 
cent phosphoric acid, 5 per cent ammonia and 3 per cent 

96 Pecan-Growing 

Acid phosphate (167^ P2O5) 1100 Lbs. 

Muriate or sulfate of potash {^S% KoO) 120 " 

Nitrate of soda (19% NH3) 150 '' 

Sulfate of ammonia (25% NH3) 120 " 

Cottonseed meal or fish scrap (8% NH3) 260 *' 

Tankage (8% NH3) 250 *' 

2000 " 

In such a mixture, 1.5 per cent is derived from nitrate of 
soda, 1.5 per cent from sulfate of ammonia, 1 per cent from 
cottonseed meal or fish, and 1 per cent from tankage. Blood 
(16% NH3) could be substituted for tankage, in which case 
125 pounds should be used in the mixture, with 125 pounds 
of some inert material. 

If it is desired to use bonemeal as a source of phosphorus, 
a 9-5-3 goods can be prepared as follows : 

Bonemeal (22% PA) ^7o NH3 840 Lbs. 

Muriate or sulfate of potash (48% ICO) 120 " 

Nitrate of soda (19% NH3) 100 " 

Cottonseed meal, fish or tankage (8% XH3) 250 " 

Sulfate of ammonia (25% NH3) 120 - 

Filler 570 '' 

2000 " 

Such a mixture would have its ammonia derived, 1 
per cent from nitrate of soda, 1.5 per cent from sulfate 
of ammonia, 1.5 per cent from bonemeal and 1 per cent 
from cotton-seed meal or fish. All of the phosphoric acid 
and half the ammonia in this mixture is only slowly avail- 

If the phosphoric acid in such a mixture were derived 
partly from acid phosphate and partly from bonemeal, it 
would probably be a better fertilizer for pecans. Such a 
mixture can be prepared as follows : 

Soils and Fertilizers for Pecans 97 

Bonemeal (227^ P2O5) , ^% XH3 400 Lbs. 

Acid phosphate (16% P0O5) 560 '' 

Muriate or sulfate of potash (4^% K2O) 120 " 

Nitrate of soda (19% XH3) 150 '' 

Sulfate of ammonia (25% NH3) 120 " 

Cottonseed meal, fish or tankage {S%. XH3) 250 " 

FHler 400 " 

2000 " 

In this mixture, 4.5 per cent of the phosphoric acid is from 
bonemeal and 4.5 per cent from acid phosphate. The am- 
monia is derived 1.5 per cent from nitrate of soda, 1.5 per 
cent from sulfate of ammonia, 1 per cent from bonemeal, and 
1 per cent from cottonseed meal, fish, or tankage. 


Pollination of the pecan is now recognized as one of 
the most important factors in the production of a fnll 
crop of nuts. Inadequate pollination or some form of sterility 
in plants as the cause of much poor bearing has occupied the 
attention of horticulturists for over half a century, and during 
this time few horticultural plants of any consequence have 
escaped notice. As pecan trees developed into commercial 
importance, whether or not they were wholly or partially self- 
sterile became an important question. Large areas were 
planted, often to one variety alone, and as they came into 
bearing there were frequent reports of very poor crops of 
nuts. This was especially common with some of the popular 
varieties, such as Frotscher and VanDeman. 

Investigation at the Georgia Experiment Station revealed 
that there are two groups of varieties of Hicoria PecaUy which 
bear a close relation to sterility. The first group, comprising 
such popular varieties as Frotscher, Moneymaker, Stuart, 
Eome, San Saba, Moore, Success, and Mobile, are able to polli- 
nate themselves, with the exception that in certain seasons 
some, especially the Alley, have a tendency to shed their 
pollen almost entirely before a large percentage of the pistil- 
late flowers become receptive. The second group, comprising 
such popular varieties as Frotscher, Moneymaker, Stuart, 
Schley, Teche, VanDeman, Delmas, and Curtis are wholly 

Pollination of Pecans 



or partially dependent on other varieties for their necessary 
amount of pollen. 

These two groups are easily distinguished by the 
characters of the catkins of staminate 
flowers and also by the difference in devel- 
opment of the pollen-grains. In the first 
group the embryonic catkins of staminate 
flowers are inclosed in rather short broad 
bud-scales, one on each side of the leaf-bud. 
The catkins themselves are rather short 
when their length is compared with their 
thickness, and the individual flowers are 
shielded by short rather small and in- 
conspicuous bracts. The catkins protrude 
from the bud-scales from one to five 
days before those of the second group. In 
most of the varieties the pistillate flowers 
become receptive at about the same time 
that the staminate flowers shed their pollen. 
A few kinds of this group, however, have a 
considerable percentage of their pistillate 
flowers receptive after the maximum dehi- 
scence of pollen (see Fig. 22). 

In the second group the embryonic cat- 
kins of staminate flowers are inclosed in 
long and rather slender bud-scales. These 
catkins are usually narrower and longer 
than those of the first group and the individual flowers are 
shielded by long narrow conspicuous bracts. The pistillate 
flowers become receptive from two to ten days before the 
staminate shed their pollen ; and in most cases a large per- 

Figure 22.— Pe- 
can twigs showing 
the two groups of 
varieties in bud 
stage. Twig on 
left from group /; 
twig on right from 
group //. Note how 
the catkins of 
group / protrude 
while the buds are 
still small. 



centage of the stigmas of the pistillate flowers have dried or 
calloused before the pollen is shed, thus precluding fertiliza- 
tion with their own pollen (see Fig. 23). 

In size, shape, and general characters, the pollen of the 

two groups of var- 
ieties differs little, 
but the variation 
lies in the time of 
rapidity of the pol- 
1 e n development. 
In general pecan 
pollen is somewhat 
flattened or sphe- 
roidal in shape. It 
is rather large in 
comparison with 
pollen from other 
nuts, being of prac- 
tically the same 
size as that of 
hickory, consider- 
ably larger than 
pollen of Japan 
walnuts, and much 
larger still than 
that of the Spanish 
chestnut. Pecan pollen-grains have from three to five germ- 
pores, and usually in germinating send out a tube through 
one pore. However, sometimes the pollen-grains send out 
more than one tube. The catkins of staminate flowers mature 
and begin shedding pollen first at the basal end, proceeding 

Figure 23. — Pistillate and staminate flowers 
of a pecan tree representing group //. The 
stigmas had dried and nut growth started 
before any pollen had shed from any of the 
catkins on the tree. 

Pollinatioih of Pecans 101 

towards the apex. The pollen formed at the distal end or 
apex of the catkins is almost devoid of germ-pores and not 
infrequently shows signs of degeneration in the nnelei. 

In the development of the pollen in the first gronp, the 
average difference in time between the tetrad stage and pollen 
formation was approximately two days, while for the second 
gronp the average was approximately two and one-half days. 
In the first the average time between the pollen formation 
and the first shedding of pollen was approximately fifteen 
days, while for the second gronp the average was approxi- 
mately eighteen days; but these intervals vaiy less than do 
the intervals between the appearance of the catkins and the 
tetrad stages of the two groups. 

The following tables give the differences and some of the 
characteristics of the two groups : 



Group I 

>> >> -^ s 

*J ■*-> r 

0> ^ ^ X* 

eS eS c3 - 

> > a 

Alley 1 4/4 

Mantura 1 4/4 

Centennial 1 4/4 

Mobile 1 4/6 

Xelson 1 4/3 

Pabst 1 4/7 

Randal 1 4/5 

Rome 1 4/5 

San Saba 1 4/6 


i- - 

n r 



= = 

r a: 



"7 ^ 

'^ T. 



- ^. 

'E. ^ 

^ o 

•- t; 


o S 









































































102 Pecan-Growing 

Group II 

^ ^ -^g SS ag ^i «^ -grt g-S |g • 

•S -Ci^^ «§ oS o| o^ o^ o.S'^H 

rt rtrt- rt^ «^ rt^ rt"^ rt'^ o^ii® 

> >Q Q QQQ q&;d 

Bradley 2 4/4 4/6 4/25 5/2 5/11 5/9 G3 110 

Curtis 2 4/5 4/14 4/29 5/7 5/14 5/14 60 125 

Teche 2 4/12 4/14 4/27 5/3 5/13 5/11 55 150 

Frotscher 2 4/4 4/11 4/27 5/3 5/12 5/11 30 150 

Money-maker ... 2 4/4 4/5 4/25 5/2 5/9 5/6 82 155 

Appomattox .... 2 4/5 4/7 4/25 5/3 5/8 5/7 25 125 

Russell 2 4/5 4/6 4/27 5/5 5/11 5/8 76 135 

Stuart 2 4/14 4/17 4/31 5/8 5/14 5/14 60 120 

Van Deman .... 2 4/5 4/5 4/25 5/1 5/10 5/7 35 170 

There is no doubt that self-sterility in pecans is due pri- 
marily to the interval between the receptive stage of the pistil- 
late flowers and the shedding of the pollen. Those varieties 
in Group I, in Avhich the pistillate flowers are receptive at the 
time the pollen sheds, present no difficulties in the problem 
of self-fertility. However, those in Group II in which the 
pistillate flowers are past the receptive stage and the stigmas 
dried before the first pollen sheds are necessarily self-sterile 
in varying degrees according to the percentage of dried or 
calloused stigmas on the tree before the pollen begins to shed. 
In Group I the stigmas of the pistillate flowers remain in a 
fresh undried condition for a period of several days, consider- 
ably longer than those in Group II. However, all do not 
become receptive at the same time, and there is some danger 
of the varieties of Group I shedding their pollen too early for 
pollinating all their own pistillate flow^ers, i.e., those coming 
into the receptive stage late. A number of stigmas of the 
Alley and the Eandall varieties are often still fresh and viscid 
after practically all the catkins or staminate flowers have dried 

Pollination of Pecans 103 

and fallen. It is possible, at least in some seasons, for the 
pollen of these two varieties to shed before all the pistillate 
flowers are fertilized. This is especially true if there should 
be heavy winds and rains at the time most of the antlers are 
dehiscing, for during such weather the pollen is either washed 
or blown away. 

In Group II the interval between the receptive stage of the 
stigmas and the first shedding of the pollen varies from four 
to nine or even more days, thus making the pollination of the 
stigmas by pollen from the same tree rather difficult. In 
fact it is a frequent occurrence to find trees in the second 
group with dried stigmas and nuts already formed before the 
first pollen has shed off the trees. As a rule, the stigmas of 
Group II dry and callus over from one to five days before 
the first pollen is shed, thus practically precluding the pol- 
linating of the stigmas by pollen from the same tree. How- 
ever, in the case of the Curtis and Stuart, a considerable num- 
ber of belated pistillate flowers will show fresh stigmas on 
the date when the first pollen is shed. In such cases when these 
varieties are grown alone, one would not expect complete 
sterility, but a light crop. 

No experiments have been conducted as to just how long 
pecan pollen remains viable, under various conditions. How- 
ever, a determination was made of the viability of the pollen 
under natural conditions, i.e., exposed to the weather in the 
catkins as they hang on the tree, and it was found to be 80 
per cent for Alley, 65 per cent for Jerome, and 100 per cent 
for Nelson when the pollen was taken directly from the de- 
hiscing anthers. None of the pollen from the same varieties 
germinated when taken from the dried catkins on the same 
tree ten days later. 

When varieties of Group II are planted, those of Group I 



should be set in close proximity to insure successful polli- 

Group I. Group II. 

Alley Appomattox 

Centennial Bradley 

Georgia Capital 

Haven Curtis 

Mantura Delmas 

Mobile Frotscher 

Moore Hadley 

Nelson Indiana 

Pabst Moneymaker 

Randal President 

Rome Russell 

San Saba Russell No. 2 

Success Schley 





Following is an outline suggesting methods of planting the 
trees of the two groups: 

Group 1 X X X X X X X 

Group 2 X X X X X X X 

Group 2 X X X X X X X 

Group 1 X X X X X X X 

Group 2 X X X X X X X 

Group 2 X X X X X X X 

Group 1 ........... X X X X X X X 

Two rows to be planted to varieties of Group II are given for 
each row of Group I, primarily because most commercial 

Pollination of Pecans 105 

growers allow first and second place to the varieties of Group 

In grouping varieties including Alley and Moneymaker, it 
is well that these be planted near each other, for Alley sheds 
its catkins before all the pistillate flowers pass the receptive 
stage and Moneymaker is one of the earliest bloomers of 
Group II and will serve as a pollinator for the Alley. 

The limits to which the pecan will hybridize with other 
species of nuts has not been determined. However, there is 
little doubt that it will readily cross with almost any other 
species of hickory. Pecan-hickory hybrids thus far intro- 
duced have been of little economic value as nut-producing 
trees when compared with the pecan itself. When the hickory 
blooms synchronously with the pecan, that is, when the pollen 
of the hickory catkins is shed at the same time that the pistil- 
late flowers of nearby pecan trees become receptive, the 
hickory may prove of economic importance as a pollinator 
for the pecan. The resultant plants, if the seeds were planted, 
would probably produce nuts of very inferior quality. How- 
ever, as long as the nuts are sold for consumption and not for 
propagation, the male parent in the production of a crop is 
of little consequence, if successful pollination is effected. 

In the Seventh Annual Eeport of the Missouri Botanical 
Garden, William Trelease gives an account of a number of 
pecan-hickory hybrids. He received flowers, twigs and fruit 
specimens of one of these from S. G. Galloway of Eaton, Ohio. 
It seems that the tree which came up near a cultivated pecan 
showed sufficient characters of both the pecan and H. minima 
(bitter-nut hickory) to mark it as a hybrid between the two 
species. Similar hybrids are also shown as existing between 
the pecans and the hickory, the Mocker nut and the bottom 
shellbark hickory. 



In planting a pecan orchard it should be borne in mind 
that one is not dealing with a crop that is to be removed in 
one, two, or even a dozen years, but one that in all probability 
will occupy the same land for a lifetime. Every possible pre- 
caution should, therefore, be taken to guard against making 
mistakes, because they are usually costly and often cannot be 
overcome except by beginning all over again. The successful 
development of a pecan orchard requires an unusual amount 
of patience, care, skill, and expense. 


The pecan orchard should be located on deep rich soil, or 
soil capable of being made fertile, w^hether it is on upland or 
bottom land. A soil should be selected that retains its fertility 
well and that will not wash, and such as will produce one-half 
to a bale of cotton to the acre and from thirty to forty bushels 
of corn. The pecan is a deep-rooted and long-lived tree. In 
planting the orchard, it should be borne in mind that the tree 
is to draw its nourishment from the same area over a long 
period of time, perhaps for eighty to a hundred years. Only 
a deep rich soil will furnish this nourishment without becom- 
ing depleted, unless plant-food is added at regular intervals 
during the life of the orchard. 

The pecan blossoms late in the spring. Contrary to the 


Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 107 

general impression, therefore, it is not often affected by frost 
and freezes like most other orchard trees. It is thus unneces- 
sary to use the same precaution in selecting elevated land in 
order to give good atmospheric drainage as in the planting of 
peaches, plums, and the like. 


The soil for the pecan orchard should be prepared well in 
advance of setting out the trees. Some staple crop should have 
been grown on the land for at least two or three years before 
being planted to pecans. It is a serious mistake to plant a 
pecan orchard on land that still contains virgin timber or 
that is full of stumps or sprouts, as the cultivation is difficult 
and expensive and most of the work has to be done with a 
sweep or turning plow. The young trees planted under these 
conditions are very likely to suffer severely from drought, 
insect pests and diseases, from damage by workmen, and from 
decaying and souring roots left in the soil. 

If possible, a green-manure crop should be grown on the 
land the summer previous to planting the orchard and turned 
under in the early fall. A good dressing of manure broad- 
casted and turned under at the same time will give excellent 

The land should be broken thoroughly and deeply from 
thirty to sixty days, if possible, before setting the trees. On 
uplands considerable subsoil can be exposed with advantage 
at this breaking. A harrow should be run over the soil just 
preceding the planting. 

It is very important to purchase pecan trees from some 
well known and thoroughly reliable nurseryman. In order 
to save express and freight rates, it is generally advisable to 

108 Pecan-Growing 

obtain them from the nearest reliable nurseryman. Pecan 
trees should not be purchased through agents unless they are 
known to be trustworthy and competent. It is difficult for 
an amateur to tell a seedling from a budded tree. He should, 
therefore, take no chances on planting seedlings, for he will 
often have to wait from six to eight years before discovering 
his mistake. Trees should not be selected because they are 
cheap. They should be healthy vigorous specimens ha^dng 
the characteristics of the desired variety. 

Nursery trees range in age from three to four years from 
the seed, and from one to two years from the budded or 
grafted portion. They are usually graded by height or length 
of the budded or grafted part. The standard grades are one 
to two feet, two to three feet, three to four feet, four to five 
feet, and five to seven feet. The most desirable height for 
average planting conditions is from three to five feet. Trees 
under three feet are slow in developing, while those over five 
feet are expensive to transport and difficult to transplant. 

The best time for planting pecan trees is from December 
1st to February 15th, although occasionally they can be set 
with good results as late as March 1st. Early trees have a 
decided advantage over those planted late as they are not so 
severely affected by excessive drought or rainy spells in early 
spring and they always start into a more healthy and ^^gorous 


There are three principal methods or forms for laying out 
the pecan orchard : the square, the hexagonal or triangular, 
and following the contour of the land where it is rolling and 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Ordiard 109 

The square method is the simplest and is in most common 
use. To lay out an orchard the first step is to select the side 
from which to begin. This is usually the longest side, so that 
a long base line may be obtained. For the base line, the de- 
sired distance from the fence, say twenty feet, should be 
measured, leaving ample z^oom for cultivation and other 
orchard operations, and a stake set at each end of the line. 
Then by sighting from one stake to the other and measuring 
from the first point, the stakes in the base line are lined up 
and set at the proper distance from each other. This locates 
the base line a certain distance from the fence, with all stakes 
in line, and the distance apart that the trees are to be planted 
(Fig. 24). 

The next step is to square the cross rows from the base line. 
At each end of the latter a square corner should be made by 
means of a 60, 80, and 100-foot triangle. One should measure 
60 feet back along the base line and hold one end of a 100-foot 
line there ; then hold one end of an 80-foot line at the corner, 
and where the loose ends of the two lines meet will mark a 
point on the cross line. By sighting from the corner through 
this point the cross line is prolonged across the field. "When 
both cross lines have been established, then the fourth side, 
across the field from the base line, is put in by squaring it on 
one of the cross lines. 

With the field thus squared, the next step is to measure off 
the distances on each line where the trees are to stand. Then 
with a man back of the base line, and another back of one cross 
line, all the stakes in the field may be sighted in place, a third 
person holding them while the two others sight them in place. 

If it is desired to line up the trees by means of furrows 
instead of sighting, this can be done very easily after the field 



Figure 24. — The square method. A. B, C, D. Fence or proi> 
erty line; E. F, base line: F, G. H, triangle to make square 
corner; /, J, and K. L, cross lines to be sighted or plowed; 
M and N, trees outside square, located by sighting one way 
and measuring the other way. Trees forty feet apart. 

is squared and the outside stakes located as described above. 
By plowing furrows parallel to the base line, using the stakes 
at each end as guides, and then crossing the field in the 
opposite way, the location for each tree wall be marked. With 
a good plowman, this method is quite accurate. 



46 ft. 8 in 200 trees 

60 ft 121 trees 

72 ft ^4 trees 

The hexagonal method has the advantage of giving the 
trees more equal distribution and permitting more to the 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 111 

acre at any given distance. This method also permits greater 
ease and thoroughness in cultivation. 

In laying out the orchard according to the hexagonal method 
when only a small acreage is to be planted, the simpler plan 
is to use a line. The base line is first established on one side 
of the orchard (see previous method) and stakes set at what- 
ever distance from it the trees are to be planted. Two per- 
sons, A and B, then take a line or wire marked as to the de- 
sired distance. A places one end of the line at the base of 
the first stake and B steps out opposite the center of the first 
two stakes and describes an arc. A then places the end of his 
line at the base of the second stake, and B describes another 
arc. Where the arcs intersect a stake is set, which determines 
the location of the first tree. This process is repeated to the 
end of the row. The first row is then used in the establish- 
ment of the second, and so on until stakes are set wherever a 
tree is to be planted in the orchard. 

When a large planting is to be made, a sweep or bull tongue 
can be used to lay off the rows. The field is laid off in strips 
of the distance to be allowed between the rows. Furrows are 
then run in the opposite direction just one-half the distance 
to be allowed between rows. The person carrying stakes 
should go down the first row setting a stake at the first inter- 
section and then skipping every other one. When the next 
row is started, the first stake should be set at the second inter- 
section, and every other one skipped. 



46 ft. 8 in 231 trees 

60 ft 139 trees 

72 ft 97 trees 

112 Pecan-Growing 


The distance that should be allowed pecan trees varies 
greatly, depending on whether the soil is sandy, upland, or 
rich alluvial bottom land. At least 46 feet 8 inches should be 
allotted on upland, and from 60 to 72 feet on alluvial soils. 
When the square method is used, 46 feet 8 inches will 
allow twenty trees to the acre. In the hexagonal method 
twenty-three trees to the acre can be planted. Accord- 
ing to the square method 72 feet allows 8.4 trees to be 
planted, while with the hexagonal 9.7 trees can be set at this 

The mistake is often made of spacing the trees too closely. 
Soil that will not develop trees that will crowd when planted 
under the minimum distance is too poor properly to support a 
pecan orchard. 

Trees can be set close together with a view of taking out 
every other one when they begin to crowd. This is, however, 
a very doubtful practice. It is better economy to allow the 
desired distance and then utilize the unused space with annual 
crops until the trees need all the room. 

The digging of holes for pecan trees is a costly operation, 
especially when the subsoil is of a hard nature. Satisfactory 
results are secured by digging with a post auger. The holes 
should be made from two and one-half to three feet deep, 
depending on the length of the tap-root, and from eighteen to 
twenty inches wide. As far as possible the holes should be 
deep enough to permit the tree to be set without removing any 
of the tap-root. It is unwise to cut off part of the tap-root in 
order to make it fit into a shallow hole. The tap-root can be 
cut back to within twenty or twenty-four inches without seri- 



Plate VII. — Harvesting pecans. 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orcliard 113 

ous damage, but better results are usually secured by leaving 
the entire root system, except the bruised and broken parts. 
These should be removed carefully with a sharp knife or pair 
of shears. 

Dynamite can be employed to advantage in digging holes 
when the subsoil is porous and cracks with the discharge. 
Positive damage is often done with dynamite when the subsoil 
is stiff and packs with the discharge. ^Yhen this occurs, a 
jug-like hole is made, the sides of which are hardened so that 
it is difficult for the roots of the young tree to penetrate. 
Water also collects in the hole during a rainy spell, and, as 
it is difficult for seepage to take place, the young tree is often 
drowned out. 

The roots of a young pecan tree should not be exposed to 
dry air or sunlight for any length of time. They should be 
kept wrapped in wet sacks or carried in a barrel of water. 
As soon as the tree is set in position in the hole, the top soil 
should be carefully worked in with the fingers around the 
roots. All clods should be pulverized before being placed in 
the hole. Special pains should be taken to place the soil 
firmly around the tap-root as air spaces will usually cause 
the soft and spongy root to dry out, resulting in the death 
of the tree. When the hole is about half full, the soil should 
be tramped firmly about the roots and a bucket of water 
added, unless there is sufficient moisture already in the soil. 
The hole should then be filled level full, tramped, and another 
bucket of water added if needed, after which loose mellow 
soil should be banked three or four inches high around the 
young tree. If fertilizer is to be used, it should be mixed 
thoroughly with the soil. It is generally safer not to put 
fertilizer of anv kind in the hole, but to work it into the 

114 Pecan-Growing 

surface soil a short distance from the base of the young tree 
where the feeding roots are to develop. 

The top of the young tree should be cut back either before 
or immediately after transplanting, so as to leave from three 
to six buds above the stock. 


Many young pecan trees suffer severely when first set and 
are often killed outright when the trunks are left unprotected. 
When the tree has made a rapid growth in the nursery row 
and the bark is tender, sun-scald is likely to cause consider- 
able harm until the top has developed far enough to shade 
the trunk. 

In many sections rabbits and other rodents do serious dam- 
age by gnawing the bark from young trees, often completely 
girdling them, which results in the death of the specimen. 

The young nursery tree when first planted is also subject 
to the attack of borers and other insect pests until the bark 
on the trunk has had time to thicken and harden. 

The simplest and most economical way of protecting trees 
from the troubles described above is to wrap the trunk with 
old newspapers. This can be done best by pulling away one 
or two inches of soil at the base of the young trees, and then 
wrapping two or three folds of paper around the trunk, cover- 
ing it to a height of about two feet or to the first branches. 
The paper should be tied at the bottom, middle, and top with 
a light string. The soil should then be pulled back into 
place at the base. Paper arranged in this way will often 
last two or three years, when no further protection will be 

If the tree is budded low, or if it branches close to the 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 115 

ground, it may be necessary to use a small-mesh wire for 


When the young pecan tree first starts into growth, it should 
be pruned carefully so as to produce a nniform top at the 
desired distance from the ground. Unless live-stock are to be 
run in the orchard, which is a doubtful practice, the trees 
should be headed from two and one-half to three feet from 
the ground. 

The low-headed pecan tree has the advantage over one 
headed high as it does not suffer as severely from wind storms 
and is more easily sprayed and pruned. The harvesting of 
nuts on low-headed trees is a much simpler problem than 
when the first branches start at a height of fifteen to twenty 
feet above the ground. The question of spraying pecan trees 
will become of more and more importance, especially when 
the great damage done by the case-bearer and the pecan-scab 
is fully realized. Heading trees high adds greatly to the 
difficulty and expense of spraying, as well as of harvesting 
the crop. 

After pecan trees have been given the proper form, the 
only pruning required is when a limb obstructs cultivation or 
when two limbs interfere with each other. 


There are two general methods of caring for the pecan 
orchard, until the trees occupy all the land: Giving it clean 
cultivation : planting crops between the trees. 

Pecan trees should be thoroughly cultivated, regardless of 
their ages, unless they are to be mulched carefully with straw 
or weeds. The authors do not consider culching practical 

] 16 Pecan-Growing 

except when trees are planted on lawns. It probably requires a 
longer time for the pecan to reach maturity than any other 
orchard tree. It will generally be from eight to tAvelve years 
before the trees begin to bear in commercial quantities, and 
fifteen to twenty years before they occupy all the space al- 
lowed. It is, therefore, good economy to plant some crop 
between the rows, especially as it will insure better working of 
the orchard, and will often more than pay for the cost of culti- 
vating the land until the trees begin to produce paying crops 
of nuts. There are often abuses arising from cropping the 
orchard. There should be a thorough understanding between 
all parties concerned that the young pecan trees are to be 
given the right-of-way over all other crops grown on the 
same land. 

In cropping the orchard, certain precautions should be ob- 
served. Plenty of space should be alloAved on either side of 
the tree row, so as to permit thorough cultivation to be con- 
tinued after the crop matures or has been harvested. In the 
western section of the pecan belt the tree row should be 
cultivated every ten days or two weeks until at least the first 
of September in order to conserve soil-moisture and provide 
favorable growing conditions. In the southeastern section 
where summer rains are more abundant, most pecan-growers 
cease orchard tillage about the first of August, at which time 
the cultivated strips of land along the tree rows are sown to a 
summer leguminous cover-crop, as soybeans, cowpeas or bush 
velvet beans. 

The space allowed on either side of the row should be from 
five to six feet to start, and should be increased gradually as 
the trees develop. Corn and sorghum or any other rank grow- 
ing crop should not be planted. The best results are secured 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orcluird 117 

with cotton, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, velvet beans, soy- 
beans, peanuts, and any vegetables. 

Two crops can be grown in the orchard in one season by 
first planting an early maturing sort, such as Irish potatoes, 
or any of the early vegetables that can be harvested by May 
20 to the 10th of June, and then followed with some late 
maturing kind, such as sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, 
egg-plant, peppers, or, in some cases, cotton. (See Plates V, 
VI.) Irish potatoes grown in a young pecan orchard on the 
grounds of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas 
were harvested May 20, and the land immediately set to sweet 
potatoes, a large crop being grown the same season. As a 
result of the constant stirring of soil and the unused fertilizer, 
the young trees make excellent growth under this plan. The 
orchard was planted in 1909. The land was cropped every 
year until 1919, the tenth year after planting. Since then 
clean cultivation has been given the orchard during the grow- 
ing season or summer months, followed by a cover-crop 
planted in the early fall and turned under as growth started 
the next spring. 

Orchards can be given clean cultivation from the first; 
that is, as soon as the young trees are planted. However, this 
is costly when it has to be kept up eight to twelve years before 
the trees begin to produce in paying quantities. 

Corporations and large individual pecan-growers often do 
not find it feasible to give intense cultivation to the entire 
areas of extensive orchards while bringing the trees into bear- 
ing. Such growers naturally look for some system by which 
they can use improved machinery to accomplish the maximum 
amount of work A\4th a minimum of labor, and at the same 
time grow some crop that will be remunerative without doing 

118 Pecan-Growing 

serious harm to the growing trees. Some have selected oats 
and cowpeas for this purpose. The oats are seeded in the fall 
when the land of the entire orchard is broken. A strip about 
ten feet wide, depending on size of trees, is left along the 
rows to be cultivated the following spring and summer. When 
the oats are harvested early the next summer the land is 
thoroughly harrowed once or twice with a disc harrow, drawn 
by mules or a tractor, and seeded to cowpeas. The vines 
are cut for hay in the fall and the land again prepared for 
planting oats as in the previous autumn. In following 
this practice, much soil-moisture and plant-food is saved 
by cutting the oats for hay just before they mature. The 
growers realize that taking two crops off the land each 
year is rather hard on the pecan trees and they balance 
it to some extent by using heavier applications of ferti- 

Cover-crops, in addition to their many other beneficial 
effect on the soil,' aid materially in preventing washing and 
the loss of plant-food by leaching. Loose uncovered soil pres- 
ent in the early fall in a pecan orchard w^hich has received 
clean cultivation during the summer, is subject to washing by 
heavy winter rains. Such erosion T\dll largely be prevented 
by the use of a vigorous growing cover-crop which will spread 
well over the ground when planted in the early fall. Fur- 
thermore such a cover-crop will take up the readily available 
plant-food, thereby preventing its leaching out during the 
winter and will return it to the soil the following spring when 
the cover-crop is turned under, just at a time when the trees 
are in greatest need of nourishment. 

Pecan orchard land with a considerable degree of slope 

^ See Chapter V. 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 119 

should be terraced. This will aid materially in preventing 
both leaching of plant-food and washing of the soil. 

The term ^^ fillers'' is applied to any short-lived perennial 
crop grown to utilize the vacant space until the orchard proper 
comes into profitable bearing. Fillers are not used as often 
as annual crops, but in some locations they often give very 

* ■' ■ ti' : : 

+ ■)• (^ + j -(•+-)•(• + 

4- •)-(-+-)-(. 4- .).[. + 

Figure 25. — The crosses (x) indicate pecan trees 72 feet 
apart. The dots indicate fig trees IS feet apart from the 
pecan trees and from each other. The fig trees inchided in 
the circles are to be removed when they interfere with the 
pecans. AU other fig trees are to be aUowed to remain their 
natural life. 

satisfactory results. They should be planted, however, with 
the definite understanding that they are to be removed just 
before they begin to interfere with the pecan trees, regard- 
less of their state of maturity. They should be set far enough 
from the pecans to allow them to reach maturity, in most 
cases, before they interfere. Some of the fruits that can be 

120 Pecan-Growing 

employed most successfully as fillers are peaches, plums, figs, 
Japanese persimmons, and berries. Fig. 25 shows a plan for 
planting a pecan orchard on rich alluvial soil near the coast 
where figs do well. In carrying out this plan it was under- 
stood that when the figs began to interfere, the trees on either 
side of a pecan in the row should be removed. The next step 
was to remove the fig trees only as they interfered with the 
pecans. The row of figs that would then be left in the center 
would undoubtedly reach maturity before it began to inter- 
fere with the pecan trees. 

The plow^ should be used in the first breaking of the land 
each spring. In turning under cover-crops and grass or 
weeds that have grown during the winter months, nothing 
will take the place of the plow. In the first few years of the 
development of the orchard the plowing should be deep and 
close to the trees. In this way the top roots will be cut and 
the main root system forced to greater depths, enabling the 
tree to obtain a firmer roothold and to withstand droughts 
better. The plowing should become shallower each year until 
finally it should go just deep enough to turn under the sur- 
face growth. 

In cultivating growing crops in the orchard, the five-tooth 
and fourteen-tooth harrows stand preeminent, although one 
section of a spike-tooth harrow often can be employed to 
advantage when the space is sufficient between the tree row 
and the first crop row. After a protracted rainy spell it is 
often necessary to use a sweep in order to clean the land when 
the orchard is being cropped. When clean culture is prac- 
ticed, the spike-tooth, acme or orchard harrow give good 
results in maintaining a dust mulch. 

In cultivating a pecan orchard after the first few years, 

Planting and Care of the Pecan Orchard 121 

it should be borne in mind that a considerable portion of the 
feeding roots are within a few inches of the surface, and that 
they should not be destroyed by deep plowing. The lateral 
or feeding roots take in both the moisture and food for the 
development of the trees. In good soil these lateral roots 
usually spread to a much greater distance than the tops of 
the trees. 

When the trees have developed so that cropping is no longer 
advisable, which will be when they are able to utilize all the 
available space, the soil should be broken from four to five 
inches deep each year in the dormant season, and only shallow 
cultivation practiced during the growing period. The land 
should be broken to about the same depth each year so as not 
to disturb the roots unnecessarily. Shallow breaking one year 
followed by deep plowing the next may result in serious injury 
to the trees. After the first plowing the disc harrow should 
be run over the land to break down the rough clods. Some 
light harrow, such as a spike-tooth or acme, should then be 
used regularly every ten to fourteen days, in order to keep 
up a dust mulch, until about the first of September. 

It is unwise to turn orchards into sod when they come into 
bearing, regardless of the character of the soil. The pecan 
orchard, as it carries its fruit through the dry hot summer 
months and matures it generally during a protracted drought 
in late fall, should receive more constant and thorough culti- 
vation than any other orchard crop. 


In the process of harvesting, the pecan will withstand 
rougher handling than almost any other fruit. However, 
care and intelligence must be practiced if profitable returns 
from the crop are to be expected. 

No very expensive equipment is necessary for harvesting 
pecans. Some growers advocate step-ladders for picking the 
nuts from young trees by hand, but the common practice 
is to knock the nuts off the trees with long bamboo poles. 
When the trees are too high to be reached from the ground, 
it is necessary that they be climbed and the nuts knocked off 
with a bamboo pole by the operator, who moves from limb 
to limb so as to place himself within reach of the nuts. In 
flaying the nuts, they should be tapped lightly so as to do 
the least possible damage to the limbs of the tree. Large 
trees branching far above the ground may necessitate a ladder 
to assist the harvester in climbing to the first limbs. Heavy 
canvas bags or ordinary fertilizer bags that have been washed 
clean, with straps to go over the shoulders of the pickers, are 
satisfactory receptacles in which to put the nuts as they are 
gathered (See Plate VII). 

Some growers use two large canvas sheets, spread parallel 
to each other on each side of the tree to catch the nuts as they 
fall. Where rank-growing perennial cover-croi)s such as the 


Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 123 

kudzu have been planted, or in native groves, the sheets are 
a necessity, since otherwise a great many nuts will be lost. 
These sheets are commonly thirty by sixty feet, although they 
may be varied according to the spread of the limbs of the 
trees. In some instances a series of rings are attached to the 
end of the sheet, through which a rope is passed so that it 
may be drawn from tree to tree by a mule. 

When the nuts are knocked to the sheet, the rear corners 
from the direction the pickers are traveling are grasped and 
pulled by hand. This inverts the sheet and dumps the nuts 
in a windrow at the front or forward edge. Here the nuts are 
separated from the husks by hand, placed in bushel baskets 
or some other convenient receptacle, and carried to the pack- 
house or shed where they are to be dried. Some growers 
do not separate the nuts from the hulls until they reach the 
pack-house or shed. If the nuts are spread and allowed to 
dry for a few days, they are much more easily separated 
from the husks. This work is termed ''shucking pecans." If 
the nuts cannot be separated from the husks after a few days' 
drying, they are likely to be faulty and should be thrown 
in with the culls. 

The cost of harvesting depends very largely on the variety, 
the size of the trees, and the yield. The price usually paid 
for harvesting is from one to two cents a pound. A good 
picker will gather from 75 to 200 pounds a day. 

In order to prevent waste and thievery, a number of gi^owers 
have the nuts picked as many as four times during the season. 
As soon as a large percentage of the husks have split, showing 
that the nuts are mature, they are knocked off and picked up. 
This operation is repeated as the nuts mature until the entire 
crop is harvested. Other growers wait until most of the husks 

124 Pecan-Growing 

have split and a small percentage of the nuts have fallen 
to the ground before harvesting is begun. Only one other 
picking is made, generally about the time the leaves shed, 
when the late maturing and scattering nuts on the trees can 
be found more easily. As a rule, when there are only two 
harvestings, one cent a pound and sometimes less is paid for 
the first picking when the nuts are plentiful, and three to 
five cents a pound at the close of the season when the nuts 
are scattering. 

When the grower is not equipped for drying pecans by 
artificial heat, they may be dried on frames or trays in any 
well-ventilated house, or better, in the sunshine during the 
day and put into the house at night. Frames or trays for this 
purpose may be of lumber three and one-half inches wide and 
one inch thick, with heavy galvanized wire netting with one- 
half-inch mesh. The frames are made seven feet long and 
thirty inches wide. The side timbers, which are allowed to 
extend six inches at each end, are pared down and dressed 
to serve as handles. The wire netting is securely fastened 
on the bottom of the frame, giving it a depth of three and 
one-half inches, the width of the board. Each tray holds 
about 125 pounds and can be handled by two men in sunning 
in the open air. When carried into the house, these trays 
can be stacked one upon another and still permit ventilation. 
The curing of these nuts to fit them for the market will require 
from a week to ten days, depending on weather conditions, 
the length of time they are allowed to remain in the sunshine, 
and the degree of maturity when harvested. 

If the nuts are to be sold through an association or exchange 
equipped with drying rooms, they will be cured by artificial 
heat before being placed on the market. However, this does 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 125 

not minimize the importance of sunning and curing the nuts 
as rapidly as possible after they are harvested, for if kept 
in piles even for a few days they are likely to mold, which 
will lessen their market value. 

After being properly dried, pecans may be stored for several 
weeks in any convenient receptacle placed where they will 
be kept dry and not exposed to excessively high temperatures. 


The type of package for marketing will depend very largely 
on the kind of market the grower wishes to supply. If he 
desires to sell through an exchange or organized selling 
agency which supplies its own packages, he may deliver the 
pecans, ungraded, in bags or some other convenient receptacle. 
However, if a grower wishes to cater to a private trade, he 
should strive to obtain a package that meets the approval 
of the consumer. The package should be light, strong and 
attractive. A good grade of corrugated paper boxes is satis- 
factory for mail shipments. Boxes made from six strong 
thin boards, stained with attractive colors, and wood veneer 
boxes properly strengthened with wire or narrow steel bands 
as reinforcements, may be used for both mail and express 

For large freight consignments, the barrel, holding about 
175 pounds of pecans, remains in popular use. Shipment 
in bags, even double bags well se^vn, should be discour- 
aged. Such shipments are subject to loss both from being 
torn in transit and from being pilfered. In fact, the trans- 
porting of pecans in bags has become so hazardous that in 
some instances express companies have refused to handle 

126 Pecan-Growing 

Under average conditions, a pound of pecans will occupy 
about sixty cubic inches of space. Based on this, the grower 
can construct his packages to contain any given number of 
pounds of pecans. For example, a box twelve inches long, 
ten inches wide and five inches deep contains 600 cubic inches 
and so has a capacity of ten pounds of nuts. It should be 
remembered, however, that the volume of a pound of pecans 
varies with the varieties and the density of the nuts. For 
this reason, when boxes are being manufactured for any par- 
ticular variety or grade, it is best to make a few trial packages 


Pecan-growers can never hope to standardize the industry 
until they grade their nuts. "When no grading is practiced 
the grower must necessarily receive a lower price for his 
product, and in many instances will have to take whatever 
the purchaser cares to pay. 

The grading of pecans by hand is so inaccurate and so 
long and tedious that few growers attempt it. On the other 
hand, satisfactory graders cost about $600.00 each, a greater 
price than most individual growers care to pay. Therefore, 
the most feasible method seems to be to sell pecans to a central 
organization which maintains graders. 

The graders now in use are manufactured by a number 
of firms and represent two distinct types. Each, however, 
grades the nuts according to their smallest diameter. The 
most common type of grader is a revolving drum, mounted 
with one end a little higher than the other. This drum is 
composed of several bands of metal containing oblong per- 
forations. The perforations at the lower end are fifteen- 
sixteenth§ of an inch across the narrow way, and those of 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 127 

each band are reduced by one-sixteenth of an inch as the 
upper end is approached, where the perforations are only ten- 
sixteenths of an inch across. The nuts are fed in at the upper 
end of the cylinder and passed through by gravity. They fall 
through the perforations into grades differing one-sixteenth 
of an inch in the smallest diameter and are held separately 
in bins below. Those nuts measuring one inch or more in 
diameter pass through the drum and are collected into a bin 
to themselves (see Plate VIII). 

The other type, more recently introduced, grades the nuts 
by oppositely rotating rods not quite parallel. To each of 
these is fastened spirally a half-round or hemispherical rod 
which causes the nuts, as they come from the hopper above, 
to travel along between the rods until the latter are far enough 
apart for the nuts to fall through into the proper bins accord- 
ing to the least diameter of the nuts, just as is accomplished 
by the revolving drum grader. 

"Wild seedling pecans, as they come from the forest, are 
so very variable in color and markings, as well as in size 
and shape, that some dealers have followed the practice of 
polishing or burnishing so as to give them a more uniform 
appearance. This is especially true of the seedling pecans 
imported from Mexico, which are often labeled Texas seed- 
lings, and as they are inferior they tend to discredit the 
real Texas pecan. The nuts are put into churn-like receptacles 
which are revolved, rolling the nuts over and over and rub- 
bing them together, until their natural markings are largely 
obliterated and their surfaces smooth and polished. This work 
was begun on a commercial scale by E. C. Koerber at Austin, 
Texas, a few years prior to 1896, the business afterwards being 
moved to New York City. In some instances the practice has 

128 Pecan-Growing 

been carried a step further by putting coloring matter in 
the revolving churns which paints the entire surfaces of the 
nuts a uniform reddish-brown color. 

The polishing or burnishing of pecans so as to destroy their 
natural color and markings should be discouraged, as these 
furnish a part of the distinguishing characteristics and beauty 
of each variety of seedling nut. The use of coloring matter 
on pecans is so objectionable, on account of the coloring 
rubbing off on any object coming in contact with the nuts, 
that the practice has met with disfavor by the general public 
and cannot be of long duration. 

Pecans passing through either type of grader will have a 
uniform minimum diameter, but all nuts of the same bin will 
not necessarily have the same length nor be of the same 
weight. Suction machines have been devised for separating 
the light weight or chaffy nuts from heavy ones, but no 
machine has been constructed that will separate the nuts with 
diseased or defective kernels, such as those affected by kernel- 
spot, that are normal in weight. To meet this condition, a 
cracking test should be applied, similar to that adopted by the 
1919 convention of the National Nut Growers' Association, 
as follows: '^In a first-class grade of any of the 'Prime' 
varieties, the kernels of not more than four shall be wholly 
defective or not more than six one-half defective or eight 
one-quarter defective, or a total of eight nuts shall not be 
more than one-quarter defective per hundred by count. All 
less well known varieties should be given a guarantee by the 
grower or seller as to percentage of defective kernels as deter- 
mined by count." 

Attractive pecans, even with defective kernels, will sell. 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 129 

but if this grade is allowed to enter the channels of trade as 
first-class nuts, they will certainly react on the industry with 
disastrous results, and therefore should be eliminated. How- 
ever, with low-grade varieties, such as the Eome, Mobile and 
Nelson, it will not be feasible to hold them up to the cracking 
test outlined above. These should be sold as low-grade nuts 
or better sent to the crackery. 

It has not been thought feasible to fix a standard degree 
for dryness for pecans. They give off and reabsorb moisture 
with the changes of the atmosphere. For this reason, an exact 
degree of dryness will be difficult to maintain. As long as 
they are sufficiently dry to pass through the channels of the 
market without deterioration and satisfactory to the con- 
sumer, they may be regarded as in a legitimate condition. 

Most varieties of pecans are separated into three sizes — 
number one, two and three — and given arbitrary trade names. 
The National Nut Growers' Association proposed the following 
names for grades, in order of size, beginning with the smallest : 
''(1) Standard, (2) Fancy, (3) Extra Fancy." ' Following 
this system, the following groups and sizes of varieties were 
proposed : 

*^ Group 1. — Nuts which will pass through a bore of 13/16 
of an inch in diameter, but not through a bore 12/16 of an 
inch in diameter, and all larger nuts of the same variety, 
except when a third grade is to be used, shall be known as 
^ Fancy,' when of the following varieties: Alley, Aurora, 
Bolton, Claremont, Colorado, Delmas, Eggshell, Frotscher, 
Georgia, Hall, Haven, Kincaid, Moneymaker, Pabst, Presi- 
dent, Randal, Russell, Sovereign, Stuart and Young. 

^Proceedings Nat. Nut Growers' Assoc, 1919, S2. 

130 Pecan-Growing 

With the same varieties the term 'Standard' shall 
apply to such nuts as will pass through either an 11/16 or 
12/16-ineh bore, but not through a bore 10/16 of an inch in 
diameter. Smaller nuts of these varieties shall not be given 
a grade standard. 

''Group 2. — These terms shall apply to the following varie- 
ties when 1/16 of an inch in diameter smaller than with the 
preceding sorts: Centennial, Halbert, James, Kennedy, 
Mobile, San Saba, Schley, Van Deman and Waukeenah. 

"Group 3. — The diameters for these (group 2) respective 
grades shall still further be decreased by 1/16 of an inch 
for the following varieties: Curtis, Moore and Robson. 

"With any variety with which it is deemed best to establish 
a third grade, the term 'Extra Fancy' shall apply to such 
nuts as will not pass through a bore 13/16 of an inch in 
diameter for group 1, or through one 12/16 of an inch for 
group 2, or 11/16 of an inch for group 3. 

"With the following varieties, these diameter measure- 
ments shall be increased by 1/16 of an inch over those of 
group 1 for the same respective grades: Lewis, Nelson and 


The records of numerous pecan orchards show that the 
trees frequently bear a few scattering nuts the third or fourth 
year. It is, however, not until the eighth or tenth year after 
planting that a profitable crop may be expected. These 
records are from trees planted on good soil and receiving 
reasonable care and cultivation. Just what yields commercial 
orchards will give on reaching full maturity, about fifty or 
seventy-five years after planting, is somewhat a matter of 
speculation. The performance of a large number of old 

Plate VIII. — A modern pecan-grader. 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 131 

seedlings and some of the older grafted varieties give evidences 
of very heavy yields even in old age if the trees have been 
properly treated. 

The time of coming into bearing and the yield of pecan 
trees for the first eight or ten years depend very largely on 
the variety and soil. Such varieties as the ^Moneymaker, 
Moore, Mobile, Success, Bnrkett, AYaukeenah, Halbert and 
Texas Prolific come into bearing early and fruit heavily while 
comparatively young. The other extreme is represented by 
the Pabst, Delmas and Stuart, which make a strong vigorous 
wood growth during the first few years after being set, but 
usually become hea^y and satisfactory bearers by the time 
they are ten years old. 

Pecans, as a rule, are very variable in their habits of 
bearing. Yery hea^y crops are likely to be followed by very 
light yields. Some varieties, however, are more regular 
bearers than others. A phenomenally hea^w yield of nuts 
by a tree for one year is frequently quoted by nursery and 
realty men as an index of the value of the variety while, 
in fact, the figures may mean little or nothing, as the va]'iety 
may be an alternate year bearer and so produce fewer nuts 
over a period of several years than one which bears smaller 
crops annually. Fair crops practically every year are to be 

The infiuences of soil and climate on varieties vary so 
greatly from one locality to another that records from any 
one place will not apply to yields of pecans in general. The 
yield records of several varieties of pecans grown at the 
Georgia Experiment Station, which is located in the lower 
piedmont section of the state, illustrate the point under con- 
sideration : 

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Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 133 

The accompanying average yield records were obtained 
from two to four trees of each variety and illustrate the great 
variation in yields likely to occur in any locality in which a 
large collection of varieties are grown. Some of the low 
yielding sorts, however, in this particular instance, may be 
high yielding when grown in some other locality and vice 
versa. Thus, in selecting varieties for any locality, the grower 
should secure as much information as possible regarding their 

High yielding individual pecan trees are desired ; however, 
the grower should not lose sight of the fact that the average 
pecan in any commercial planting falls as far short of the 
record yields of a few individual trees as does the average 
beef steer of the prize winner at the International Live-Stock 
Show. This may be illustrated by giving the yield records 
of a few outstanding individuals with which the records of 
ordinary pecan trees may be compared. Among these indi- 
vidual trees will be found native forest seedlings ; and budded 
or grafted trees planted in orchard form on cultivated land. 

The original Halbert tree, about 110 years old, near Cole- 
man, Texas, produced as much as 400 pounds of nuts in one 
year and averaged 200 a year for ten years. The original 
San Saba tree, about 100 years old, near San Saba, Texas, 
yielded as many as 480 pounds of nuts in one year and aver- 
aged 215 pounds for twenty-eight years. The original Oliver 
tree, about seventy-five years old, near Junction, Texas, has 
produced 800 pounds in one year and averaged more than 
500 pounds for thirty years. The original HoUis tree, more 
than 100 years old, near Bend, Texas, has borne 1,060 pounds 
in one year, and averaged 300 pounds for seventeen years. 
The original Sloan tree, 150 years old, near Stacy, Texas, 

134 Pecan-Growing 

yielded 1,000 pounds in one year and averaged 700 pounds 
for twenty-five years/ 

Eight seedling trees, not over forty years old, on the place 
of W. J. Millican, Bend, Texas, gave a yield, in 1919, of 450 
pounds of nuts for the lightest bearer of the eight trees, and 
670 pounds of nuts for the heaviest bearer. Three native 
seedling trees, standing not more than 100 yards apart, near 
Bend, Texas, on the Colorado river, have records of producing 
870 pounds, 995 pounds and 1,060 pounds of nuts each respec- 
tively for the year 1919. The heaviest yielding of these three 
is the Mother HoUis tree. About a mile up the river from 
Bend, Texas, stands another seedling which produced 1,400 
pounds of pecans one year and 1,140 pounds another season. 
The year that 1,400 pounds were harvested from this tree, 
a large number of the pecans dropping early were eaten by 
hogs, leading the owner to believe that had the entire yield 
been saved, fully a ton of nuts would have been harvested 
from the one tree that year. 

A. G. Delmas and Sons gathered 235 pounds of pecan nuts 
from a thirteen-year-old Delmas tree. Theo Bechtel of Ocean 
Springs, Mississippi, harvested from a Van Deman tree, a 
record of which was not begun until the tenth year, 100 
pounds the tenth year, 70 pounds the eleventh year, 60 pounds 
the twelfth year, and 185 pounds the thirteenth year. A. G. 
Lowrey of Preston, Georgia, picked 700 pounds of nuts from 
a seedling tree sixty years old. John West of Monticello, 
Florida, harvested 900 pounds of nuts from one seedling tree.^ 

Reports of other yield records have been made through 

letters. H. W. Smithwick, Americus, Georgia, has eighty- 

^ A. C. Easly — Texas as a Pecan Possibility ; Proceedings Nat. Nut 
Growers Assoc, 1917. 

^J. B. Wight, some Aristocrats in the Pecan World. 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 135 

five acres in pecans, embracing more than a dozen varieties, 
ranging from ten to fifteen years after planting, that produced 
14,126 pounds of pecans in 1921. The 1922 crop was very 
much shorter than this. J. S. Scarboro, Tifton, Georgia, 
harvested 3,400 pounds of pecans from 100 ten-year-old trees 
in 1921, which was followed by a very light crop in 1922. 
G. C. Pabst, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, gathered a total of 
9,000 pounds of nuts from 100 thirteen-year-old pecan trees 
in one year. From seventeen other trees, eight years old, of 
the Stuart variety, he harvested in one year 1,700 pounds. 
J. A. Kernodle, Camp Hill, Alabama, obtained a little more 
than 1,000 pounds of nuts from seventeen fourteen-year-old 
pecan trees in 1921. These seventeen trees are growing on 
one acre of land where the soil has been kept in a high state 
of fertility by growing an annual winter cover-crop of bur 
clover, followed by corn and soybeans planted between the 
rows of trees in the spring after the clover seeds matured. 
Growers in many sections of the pecan belt may be able to 
give some authentic records of yields that will surpass these, 
but the general average or even the trees of the best com- 
mercial plantings will fall far below them. 

From the fourth to the eighth year inclusive, each average 
tree of a well cared for orchard of varieties adapted to the 
section in which they grow should produce a total of fifteen to 
twenty-five pounds of nuts. During the next five years, each 
tree should yield a total of 85 to 125 pounds. For the next 
period of seven years, which will bring the tree up to twenty 
years after planting, the total yields should range from 
500 to 700 pounds of nuts. From this it would be expected 
that an orchard of pecans on good soil and properly treated 
should produce a total of 600 to 850 pounds to a tree for the 

136 Pecan-Growing 

period of twenty years after it is planted. Growers, however, 
are more likely to measure up to these yields for the first 
thirteen years because most trees are planted too close to- 
gether and will begin to crowd long before they are twenty 
years old. In addition, the average grower who gives his 
trees good care during the first five or six years of their bear- 
ing life does not fully realize their growing demands for 
plant-food, moisture, and space for development and for the 
production of increased yields. Many growers apply very 
little more fertilizers to a twenty-year tree than to one only 
twelve or fourteen years old. 

Another important factor is that young trees are more 
easily protected against insects and fungous diseases as they 
can be sprayed more readily than the older and larger speci- 
mens. Also, some varieties grow and produce well for several 
years and then develop a degree of susceptibility to certain 
diseases that greatly reduces their productiveness. 

In large commercial plantings of pecans there are almost 
invariably a sufficiently large number of low-yielding trees 
each year to keep the average production very much lower 
than those previously stated. Kecords from a number of 
large commercial orchards, where the trees range from twelve 
to fifteen years of age, show that the average yield to a tree 
each season rarely exceeds six pounds through the fifteenth 
year after planting. The highest yielding trees of these or- 
chards, however, are in strong contrast with the average 

The question of varieties, as previously mentioned, has a 
very important bearing on the yield of pecan nuts. The 
Stuart and the Schley are planted possibly more extensively 
than any other two varieties of pecans. In some regions in 

Harvesting and Yields of Pecans 137 

which both of these sorts are apparently well adapted, the 
Stuart surpasses the Schley in yields by about 50 per cent. 
The Schley nuts, of course, bring a better price in the market 
than the Stuarts; but it is not expected that the premium 
paid for the Schleys will be great enough to offset a 50 per cent 
less yield. 



The cracking of pecans on a commercial scale has developed 
rapidly in recent years. According to Robert E. Woodson, 
St. Lonis, Missouri, the commercial shelling of pecans was 
begun by the Barnhart Mercantile Company in 1884."^ At 
this time a hammer Avith a block of lead as a base was "used 
for cracking the nnts. There was small demand for pecan 
kernels until 1889, the year Woodson invented a cracking 
machine which was operated with one hand and fed with 
the other. It was fifteen years later that he invented a 
power-driven, automatic, self-feeding machine for cracking 
large quantities of pecans. Follomng this, other crack- 
ing machines were invented and are working successfully 

In operating one of the most common types of automatic 
power-driven machines, the nuts are poured into a hopper 
through which rotates an endless-chain belt with cups or 
projections just large enough to pick up and carry one nut 
each over into a slot of the machine. A piston-like rod 
working automatically in the slot brings pressure on the 
ends of the nut, which cracks it. The nut is then released 
into a receptacle below with a minimum of broken kernels. 

^ Proceedings Nat. Nut Growers' Assoc, 1913. 


Commercial Crackeries and Storage of Pecans 139 


The shells of pecans that have been allowed to dry out 
after harvesting will generally break with only one or two 
long cracks, and the kernels will shatter badly when ran 
through the commercial crackers. Soaking makes the shell 
brittle so that it cracks in numerous places and the meat 
tough so that it will not crumble. One method is to dip the 
nuts in water just below the boiling point for fifteen or 
twenty minutes. The nuts are then taken out and their 
surfaces allowed to dry before being cracked. This gives 
good results so far as cracking of the shells and picking out 
the kernels are concerned, but the hot water has a decided 
tendency to darken the meats. 

Another method of soaking is to place the pecans in a 
large tank of water, turn on enough cold water to cover them, 
and allow them to soak five or six hours. The water is then 
drained off, the top of the tank closed, and the pecans allowed 
to remain in this damp atmosphere for one to five days before 
cracking. The best results are usually secured from the 
third to the fifth day, because by this time the moisture has 
penetrated the shell and livened and toughened the kernel. 

Still another method is to place the dry pecans in a room 
lined with tin or some other waterproof material. The nuts 
are sprinkled with water as they are brought in and allowed 
to remain in this room where the atmosphere is heavily 
charged with moisture for several days before cracking. 

When the pecans have been thoroughly soaked, it is neces- 
sary to dry out the excess moisture from the meats before they 
are packed. This can be done best by placing them in trays 24 
inches wide, 36 inches long, 4 inches deep, and made of l-by-4 
material. The bottom of the tray is covered with ordinary 

140 Pecan-Growing 

screen wire. These trays are made so as to fit into frames 
and are stacked twelve high in five rows. Each tray holds 
from thirty to forty pounds of pecans. At night an electric 
fan with twelve-inch blades is set so as to send a current of 
air through these pecans. When the w^eather is clear, the 
meats will be dried out thoroughly by morning. If the at- 
mosphere is moist, an electric heater is set back of the fan 
to help take up the excess moisture. The meats are thus ready 
for packing the second day after the nuts are cracked. 

HAND NUT-CRACKERS (Figs. 26 and 30) 
There are hand-propelled nut-cracking machines, but since 
these are operated on the same principle as the power-driven 
machines, they need no further consideration in this con- 

There is a very great variety of small hand nut-crackers 
on the market. The more efficient types are those that are 

Figure 26. 

Figure 27. Figure 29. 

Hand nut-crackers. 

FiGUEE 30. — A nut pick. 

Commercial Crackeries and Storage of Pecans 141 

clamped to the table and worked by means of a compound 
lever or by a spiral central pinion which exerts pressure on 
the ends of the nut, cracking it without crushing the kernel 
very seriously. The other general type has two small 

metal rods or handles 
fastened together at 
one end by a hinge- 
like connection and 
notched or grooved on 
the inner side at the 
hinged end for hold- 
ing the nut. This op- 
erates on the prin- 
ciple of the lever. Both types sell at very reasonable prices 
and give satisfactory results for family use. 


The cost of shelling pecans depends very largely on the 
kind of machinery used and the volume of business. When 
good machines and other equipment are installed and when 
there is sufficient volume of nuts to operate for nine or ten 
months in the year, the labor becomes more skilled, and 
the shelling can be done at a lower average cost than when 
the supply is sufficient to run only two or three months out 
of the year. Modern cracking machines sell for about $850 
each, and the power for operating them is also an item of 

Machines crack the nuts very successfully, but as yet no 
machine has been devised that will successfully separate the 
shells from the kernels; consequently this work must be 
done by hand. The kernels are picked out by ordinary labor, 

142 Pecan-Growing 

the cost varying in different sections. Some crackeries pay 
a higher rate for the unbroken halves of kernels than for 
the pieces so as to induce the workers to take more care in 
getting out the unbroken halves. The price paid a pound 
for picking out the kernels ranges in most of the crackeries 
from four to eight cents. The higher sums are paid for 
picking a pound from the ordinary seedling nuts, while the 
lower are for the standard varieties. 


The pecan, unlike a great many fruits, does not deteriorate 
rapidly after harvesting. However, if held indefinitely under 
ordinary conditions, it will eventually become inedible on 
account of the rancidity of its fat or oil-content. When large 
quantities of pecans are to be held for the greater part of 
the year, as at some of the shelling plants, adequate pro- 
vision should be made for storing before the nuts are cracked 
and also for storing the kernels as long as they are held 
exposed to the air before being marketed. 

Little information is available to show just the best tem- 
perature for keeping pecan nuts and kernels. The nut is, 
however, tolerant of rather wide variations in temperature 
and may be expected to remain in good condition for several 
weeks or even months when the storage-room is kept reason- 
ably cool. Both the nuts and the separated kernels would 
probably remain in good condition for the greatest length of 
time if maintained at a temperature just above the freezing 
point. However, experienced pecan men say that this is 
neither practical nor necessary. They claim that pecan nuts 
and especially the separated kernels when taken from ex- 
tremely low temperatures and placed on the market where 

Conwiercial Crackeries and Storage of Pecans 143 

they will be exposed to high temperatures deteriorate much 
more quickly than those held at a storage temperature rang- 
ing from 40 to 50 degrees F. Pecan nuts are more easily 
stored without marked deterioration than the kernels after 
they are removed from the shells. However, it seems certain 
that as long as the storage-room is held doAvn to 40 degrees F. 
the pecan nuts may be expected to keep well, provided other 
favorable conditions are supplied. 

Since the kernels of pecans are high in oil, often running 
above 70 per cent, conditions favorable to preserving the oil 
may be expected to be good for keeping the nuts. Rancidity 
of the oil is one of the first signs of deterioration. Aside 
from low temperature, it is important that the moisture or 
humidity of the air in the storage-room be held as low as 
possible. This should be borne in mind in deciding on the 
type of refrigeration or cold storage. Rancidity of pecan 
kernels may be ascribed to the action of moisture on the free 
fatty acids formed in the presence of air and some soluble 
ferment as enzymes. The action of dry air, so far as ran- 
cidity is concerned, is very slow in the deterioration of pecans 
as compared with moist air, and moist air and high tem- 
perature combined are very deleterious. A desirable storage- 
room for pecans may be described as one with a temperature 
ranging around 40 degrees F., dry air, and very little light. 

Light, especially direct sunlight, produces a blanching 
effect on oils or fats, thus making it necessary to guard as 
much as possible against exposing pecan meats. Pecan ker- 
nels, even before they are shelled, if left in the sunshine very 
long, will deteriorate by blanching. For this reason, nuts in 
storage should be protected against strong sunlight as well 
as moist warm air. 

144 Pecan-Growing 

It has been the practice of some walnut-growers of the 
Pacific slope to put up kernels by the vacuum process, but 
this was not applied to pecans on a commercial scale until 
the early part of 1922. There are two types of machines 
for this work. One of them seals glass jars, while the other 
seals tin cans. When the kernels are graded, the unbroken 
and well-formed halves are placed in the glass jars, while 
the chipped halves and broken pieces are put in tin cans. 
The machine exhausts the air and seals the top, leaving the 
kernels in a vacuum. When put up in this manner, the 
kernels will usually keep indefinitely and can be placed on 
the pantry shelf of the housewife to be used as needed. 


The pecan is now going through a process of standard- 
ization and introduction into the world markets. General 
demand for the better grade nnts dates back to the exposition 
at New Orleans in 1886, when an extensive collection of 
choice thin-shelled pecans from the Mississippi bayous was 
exhibited. It was not until 1900, however, when a very 
complete exhibit of America's choicest varieties was shown 
at the Paris Exposition that any noticeable world-wide 
demand for pecan nuts was created. 

The price of pecans, before the advent of improved varieties 
in any quantity, was based on the demands for Avild seed- 
lings. The producers considered these seedling nuts merely 
a by-product, costing nothing but the harvesting. This, to- 
gether with the very limited demand, caused exceedingly low 
prices to prevail, and even as recently as 1900 pecans sold 
as low as two to four cents a pound. Before 1910 the price 
advanced, with considerable fluctuations, to sixteen cents a 
pound. This rise was due largely to the invention and in- 
stallation of cracking machinery which enabled the dealers 
to put unbroken half kernels on the market in large quan- 
tities ready for use, and also enabled them to use all grades 
of nuts. With this widening market for the seedling pecans 
came a very much greater demand for the standard named 

The limited production of standard varieties of pecans 


146 Pecan-Groiving 

heretofore and their general popularity had enabled growers 
to dispose of their crops with little difficulty through the 
express and mail-order service. However, as the large com- 
mercial orchards approach full bearing, producers are turn- 
ing from the limited mail-order business at high prices and 
are seeking other methods of marketing with a vastly greater 
capacity for promptly handling large quantities. 

Individuals and corporations having strong financial back- 
ing and growing large quantities of pecans are often able 
to keep in close touch with the more important channels of 
trade and can market their nuts independently to good advan- 
tage. Even the small grower who has patience and business 
ability can build up a trade that will dispose of his pecan 
nuts at good prices. Such a trade is developed slowly, but 
can be increased considerably by prompt service and by sup- 
plying nuts of the highest quality. The average small grower, 
however, can market his nuts to much better advantage 
through some marketing association, provided it is properly 
organized and managed. Intelligent marketing is impossible 
without information concerning crop and market conditions 
and the average producer lacks both the facilities and the 
time to obtain it. A marketing association controlling the 
products of a number of growers can employ experienced men 
to secure the necessary information and to sell the products 
to the best advantage. In addition, organizations with a large 
volume of business have marketing connections and outlets 
not open to the individual producer generally. 


Cooperative marketing associations are divided into two 
classes, one including those formed with capital stock, the 

Plate IX. — Above, young pecan nuts attacked by the larvae 
of the nut case-bearer. Below, left, leaf case-bearer, spring 
cases on main leaf-stalks. Below, right, adult beetle of flat- 
head tree-borer. 

Marketing Pecans 147 

other non-stock non-profit organizations. In either case, mem- 
bership should be restricted to bona fide growers. Member- 
ship in the capital stock class is represented by the owner- 
ship of one or more shares of stock, w^hile in the non-stock 
non-profit form the member pays an entrance fee and receives 
a membership certificate, which entitles him to all the privi- 
leges of the association. 

A farmers ' cooperative association, formed on capital stock, 
is operated on the one-member one-vote basis, regardless of 
the variation in the shares owned. This in a measure dis- 
courages the buying up of the capital stock by a few members 
w^ho might desire to gain control of the organization for 
selfish purposes. It also makes the ownership of the capital 
stock unattractive to outsiders. Associations of growers, or- 
ganizing on this plan, usually limit the ownership of the 
capital stock to actual producers. From a legal standpoint, 
it might be difficult to prevent a member from selling his 
stock to an outsider, but the one-member one-vote provision 
tends to render the stock unattractive to outside investors. A 
disadvantage of this plan is that there is no method of 
preventing an unequal distribution of stock ownership among 
the members. 

The non-stock non-profit form of organization is the one 
most used now by growers. Under this plan the one-member 
one-vote provision obtains and membership is also limited 
to actual growers. Operating capital is secured from banks 
and from the War Finance Corporation by offering the com- 
modity controlled by the organization as collateral. Under 
this plan there is no capital stock to be sold, and, therefore, 
it is impossible for outsiders to gain a foothold. Under both 
the capital stock and the non-stock non-profit forms of organ- 

148 Pecan-Growing 

ization, complete control of all activities is in the hands of 
the membership. 

A cooperative marketing association is an organization of 
the growers or producers for the purpose of collective selling, 
in an orderly manner and on a supply and demand basis, 
individually produced farm commodities. Any producer who 
pays the membership fee can have one vote, no more, in the 
governing of the organization ; the profits above operating 
expenses are distributed among the members in proportion to 
patronage or the amount of business transacted. A better, 
shorter and more economical method of distribution is ob- 
tained by cooperation than any single grower could possibly 
hope to procure alone. This type of marketing association 
is a step forward in rendering service and effecting savings 
for the producers. It has reached its highest development 
in California, where the California Fruit Growers' Exchange 
was organized in 1893. More recently organizations have 
been formed in that state for the handling of walnuts, raisins, 
almonds, prunes, poultry and other commodities. The East- 
em Shore of Virginia Produce Exchange has operated suc- 
cessfully for more than twenty years. The Florida Citrus 
Exchange has made remarkable progress in recent years. 

Organization tij commodity. 

One of the fundemental principles of cooperative marketing 
is that organization be on a commodity rather than on a 
community basis. Heretofore, a small number of grow- 
ers living in the same community would organize to sell 
their produce collectively in order to ship in carload lots 
and reduce the expenses of marketing. Sooner or later 
the buyers pitted the local associations against one another 

Marketing Pecans 149 

and so the latter failed to secure results, for they were 
put in open competition with producers of the same 
commodity. This was the experience of the citrus fruit ex- 
changes of California that finally forced them into organizing 
the big California Fruit Growers' Exchange. Organization 
on the principle of commodity is a broader conception than 
on a community basis. Under this system all commodity 
organizations handling the same commodity unite to form 
one large association which recognizes the various community 
associations as component parts. The field service of the 
general association keeps all the local sections in touch with 
each other and vdXh headquarters. Wherever the volume 
of business warrants, the field service organizes new local 

The advantages of the organization of marketing by com- 
modity are ob\dous. In the first place it eliminates destructive 
competition ; secondly, it tends to stabilize the market. When 
the general association controls a large percentage of the 
commodity, there is little danger of glutting one market and 
starving another ; consequently the price will run more evenly 
and the demand will be steadier. When an association handles 
a large percentage of the commodity, it attracts the most 
influential type of buyers and can command the respect of 
the business world and use to advantage the ordinary chan- 
nels of trade that are not accessible to small business. In 
addition, the larger the volume of business, the less in pro- 
portion are the overhead expenses and the more able is the 
association to hire experts in all necessary lines. 

Standardization of commodity. 

Another fundamental principle of successful cooperative 

150 Pecan-Growing 

marketing is standardization of the commodity. This is merely 
good business. The farmer is frequently criticized for lack of 
attention to the uniformity and quality of his products. As an 
individual he is powerless to remedy this weakness both from 
lack of time and because his production is too limited to war- 
rant dividing into grades. However, if he is a member of a 
cooperative association, the marketing experts set a standard 
that w^ill appeal to the buying public. AVhen the farmer's 
produce is brought to the w^arehouse of the association, it is 
graded to the standard by experts generally, in the case of 
pecans, into first grade, second grade and culls. These sorts 
are then expertly packed and attractively labelled. The first 
grades are pooled or mingled with those of the other members 
and put on the market. \Yhen the association is large, espe- 
cially when it controls a large percentage of the commodity 
on the market, the first grade pool will be of sufficient quan- 
tity to attract attention and command a higher price. The 
second grades go through the same process of pooling and 
marketing. The culls are also pooled and in the case of 
pecans are sent to the crackeries, shelled, and sold for their 
meats. The prices paid in the various markets during 
the season for the first grade produce are pooled and the 
grower receives the average. The same method of pooling 
prices takes place in the other grades. The farmer's share of 
each pool is determined by the proportion of his product to 
the total amount. 

The greatest advantage in standardizing a commodity is 
the ease with which it can be advertised. Advertising any 
except carefully graded products of uniform quality would 
not show much results. Special trade names and trade- 
marked brands soon become widely known and facilitate the 

Marheting Pecans 151 

sale of the products handled. The California Fruit Growers' 
Exchange, whose standardization has reached a high stage, 
is able to advertise citrus fruits on a national scale at a 
comparatively small cost for each box of fruit handled. 
This is due partly to its volume of business and partly to 
the grouping of its produce under various brand names 
whose standards are rigidly enforced. 

Membership contracts. 

Only the producers of the commodity should be admitted 
to membership in a cooperative marketing association. This 
is to insure unity of interests among the members and to pre- 
vent any personal schemes. 

There must be a legal and enforceable contract between the 
association and the member, by which the latter is bound to 
sell and deliver his commodity to the association over a 
period of years ; and the association is bound to receive, grade, 
store, ship and sell the product to the best possible advantage, 
wherever a market can be found, and to pay to the member 
for his commodity the average price received, less the actual 
cost of operation. 

Enforceable contracts are essential to insure delivery of 
the product to the association. Interests with which a coop- 
erating marketing organization is competing sometimes offer 
temptations to the members in the form of higher prices, 
for the purpose of breaking up the association and thereby 
eliminating this competition. Without some method of hold- 
ing the members to their contracts, the association could 
never be assured of sufficient volume of business. It would 
be unable to make stable market arrangements, secure capable 
help, or reach any final agreements for financing, storage 

152 Pecan-Growing 

and other essential features. Suitable liquidated damages 
for violation of contract should be provided. 

Government of a cooperative association, 

A board of directors, nominated and elected annually by the 
membership, should have charge of the business affairs of the 
association. As a rule, the most successful business men are 
chosen, but an annual election enables the members to main- 
tain on the directorate the really strong men who have ren- 
dered efficient service. The directors are not paid, except a 
small per diem while actually at work. 

A general business manager should be appointed by the 
directors. He should be paid a salary commensurate with 
his qualifications and the type of work he is expected to do. 
He should understand grading and packing, but it is more 
important that he should be a trained market man fully 
conversant with the sales end of the business. He should 
be allowed to name whatever assistants are necessary for the 
efficient conduct of the business. 


Funds for general running expenses and to make 
advances to the growers are borrowed on warehouse re- 
ceipts representing the commodity in storage, bills of lading 
or other commercial collateral. Financing a cooperative as- 
sociation of the Sapiro type is a very safe form of banking, 
as the association has absolute and legal title to the product 
handled and even to that which will be grown in future 
years. It borrows at low percentage for short periods of 
time and the collateral is absolutely first class. As rapidly 
as the commodity of a certain grade in a given pool is 

Marketing Pecans 153 

sold out, the loans on that idooI are repaid and the interest 

It is customary for the cooperating marketing association 
to make an advance of part of the value of the commodity 
at the time of delivery. Further pa^Tnents are made to the 
grower on each pool from time to time, and final settlement 
after the pool has been disposed of entirely. Final payment 
consists of pro-rating to the member all the money remaining 
to the credit of the pool in which his product has been 
placed, less the proportionate amount necessary to pay his 
share of the operating expense, and deductions for reserves 
for credit, to retire indebtedness for subsidiaries, such as 
warehouse companies and other essential expenses. In the 
case of pecans, the operating expenses are proportioned on a 
basis of the tonnage of nuts handled for each grower. 

The National Pecan Growers^ Exchange. 

A cooperative association to market pecan nuts is operated 
under the name of the National Pecan Growers' Exchange. 
The possibilities of this organization having been discussed for 
three or four years, a committee composed of C. A. Vanduzee, 
chairman, and J. B. Wight, Cairo, Georgia; H. C. White and 
J. M. Patterson of Putney, William P. Bullard of Albany, B. 
W. Stone of Thomas\alle, T. H. Parker, Moultrie, Georgia, and 
others, was appointed at the annual meeting of the National 
Nut Growers' Association held at Thomasville, Georgia, in 
May, 1914, to study the subject and devise plans. This 
committee made a report to a called meeting of the Georgia- 
Florida Pecan Growers' Association during the annual meet- 
ing of the National Nut Growers' Association at Thomas- 
ville, in October of the same year. Its action was approved 

154 Pecan-Growing 

by both associations, and the committee made a standing 
committee of both organizations. In due time, the National 
Pecan Growers' Exchange was organized as nearly as pos- 
sible approximating the California Walnut Growers' Asso- 
ciation, and chartered under the laws of the state of Georgia, 
with headquarters, for the time being, at Albany. 

It is the policy of the National Pecan Growers' Exchange 
to organize and establish local or sub-exchanges in various 
localities in which the crops are large enough to warrant the 
erection of plants for curing, grading, and packing the nuts 
for shipment. The shipments are inspected and come into 
possession of the National Exchange, which has a contract 
buyer ready to receive them. Localities which organize sub- 
exchanges have the privilege of electing representatives who 
can participate in all deliberations of the board of directors 
of the National Exchange. All members of the National 
Pecan Growers' Exchange have one vote each in all matters 
pertaining to its management. 

Each year, about the first of October when crop conditions 
are known, the growers supplying the Exchange with nuts 
are invited to attend or send a representative to a meeting 
for the purpose of agreeing on prices for pecan nuts for that 
season. Efforts are made to fix these prices with fairness 
and justice both to the buyer and the grower. During the 
summer preceding the harvesting of the nuts, orders are 
solicited from brokers through their jobbers, subject to the 
approval of the price to be named by the Exchange. The 
contracts of sale contain a guarantee against the Exchange 
reducing its opening price. 

When a delivery of nuts from the orchards is made, they 
are first cured by being placed in warm, dry, air-heated com- 

Marketing Pecans 155 

partments of the warehouse. They are next put through 
grading machmes, and packed for shipment. Fifty-pound 
wooden boxes are the standard package of the Exchange. 
The nuts are attractively labelled with their brand names. 
Some varieties, such as Schley, which demand a premium on 
the market, and certain inferior sorts are, however, sold sepa- 
rately. Such varieties as the Stuart, VanDeman, Pabst, Frot- 
scher and Delmas, are assorted and blended together. The 
first grade of these are sold under the Apex brand, and the 
second as the Junior brand. 

The cost of operating the Exchange varies from year to 
year. However, when the expenses of its services are pro- 
rated among its members, it is from four to five cents on the 

Albany, Georgia 

Marketing Agreement 

This Agreement Made and entered in this day of 

1923, by and between the National Pecan 

Growers' Exchange, a corporation organized and existing under the 
laws of the State of Georgia with its principal oflSce and place of 
business in the city of Albany. Georgia, hereinafter calle<:l the 

"Exchange," party of the first part ; and 


hereinafter called "Member/' party of the second part 

Whereas, the Exchange is a non-profit making co-operative corpora- 
tion organized for the purpose of handling and selling pecan nuts 
and pecan products and whose principal purpose is to facilitate the 
marketing, to standardize the grades and to create and maintain a 
stable and profitable market for pecan nuts and pecan nut products 
and to eliminate waste and the duplication of exi^ense in marketing 
same; and it is essential to the accomplishment of said purpose that 
it be assured of a definite source of supply both as to volume of 

156 Pecan-Growing 

nuts to be handled and as to the revenue necessary to meet its 
operating, fixed and necessary expense ; and this agreement on the 
part of the member to sell all nuts owned or controlled by him 
through the medium of the Exchange will materially conduce to 
the accomplishment of those purposes ; now, 

Therefore, for and in consideration of like agreements on the part 
of the other like members of the Exchange ; and the mutual covenants 
and agreements of the said parties hereto they have and now do 
hereby mutually covenant and agree as follows, to-wit : 

1. All pecan nuts owned or controlled by the Member during the 
years 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927 shall be sold through the 
Exchange, except only such nuts as the Member may desire to re- 
serve for personal use but not for sale. And during the term the 
Member shall not buy, sell or trade in pecan nuts excepting they 
be sold by the Member through the Exchange under this contract. 

2. The Member hereby appoints the Exchange the sole and exclu- 
sive agent of the Member for the purposes of this Agreement with 
full power, right, title and authority in its own name to transact such 
business and take such action as may be necessary, incident, or con- 
venient for the accomplishment thereof; and to borrow money and 
mortgage or otherwise pledge the said pecans or any of them, for 
the purpose of obtaining advances for Members and for the corporate 
purposes of the Exchange. 

3. The nuts shall be delivered by the Member at his expense 
upon the order of the Exchange to some local or sub-Exchange plant 
for curing, grading, classifying or otherwise processing and packing 
and thereafter to be sold by the Exchange; charges for the services 
of the said local or sub-Exchange shall always be reasonable and 
only sufficient to cover the operating, reserve, fixed and necessary 
charges, the said local or sub-Exchange operating in a cooperative 
way in behalf of the Exchange and for the good of the Members 
of the Exchange. 

4. The nuts shall be delivered to the Exchange or its order at the 
earliest reasonable time after maturity ; and the varieties shall be 
unmixed ; and until delivery to the Exchange the nuts shall be 
handled carefully and shall be spread and kept from heating in 
bulk ; and if to be shipped to the Exchange by common carrier the 
nuts must be air dried enough to insure against loss by heating in 

Marketing Pecans 157 

5. In order to facilitate the economic and satisfactory marketing 
of the pecans and in order that no preference shall be in favor of 
any Member, it is understood and agreed that all pecans delivered 
by the Member to the Exchange may, after grading and before 
packing, be pooled or intermingled with pecans of like grade, type 
and quality delivered to the Exchange by other Members ; and the 
Exchange shall be the sole judge of the grade to which all pecans 
delivered belong. 

6. The Exchange may in its discretion establish one or more 
pools regulated by or conditioned upon the date of delivery to the 
Exchange by the Member ; and nuts delivered in time to come within 
the first pool may take priority in settlement over late pools de- 
livered ; and the determination by the Exchange of grades, pools, 
standards and classifications and prices for which nuts shall be sold, 
and differential as to grades and prices, shall be final and con- 

7. As soon as the nuts have sufficiently formed upon the trees 
in each year, and whenever thereto requested by the Exchange, the 
Member shall mail to the Exchange at its head office an estimate 
of the yield of pecans covered by this Marketing Agreement, and 
also each year immediately upon the harvesting of such nuts mail 
to the Exchange a statement of the amount of such yield. 

8. As soon as the first pool good nuts in each year delivered by 
the Member can be properly classified as to grade and quality the 
Exchange will make as substantial an advance payment thereon as, 
in its judgment, the marliet and financial conditions will permit of; 
and in the same manner an advance on good nuts delivered in subse- 
quent pools of that year ; the balance due the Member in any year 
will be distributed at the close of the season's business when all 
pools have been sold out, the Exchange first deducting from such 
final settlement all its own charges for inspection, propagation, mar- 
keting, incidental and necessary operations, and the charges of the 
local or sub-Exchange as in Section 3 provided ; all remittances may 
be made by the Exchange to the Member direct or through the 
aforesaid local or sub-Exchange. 

9. Any losses occurring from the selling of any nuts by the 
Exchange due to failure of collection or loss in transportation or 
handling; and storage, reserves, interest and insurance charges 
may also in the discretion and judgment of the Exchange be pro- 

158 Pecan-Growing 

portioned ratably by the Exchange and same deducted on a pro- 
rata basis in final settlement as provided in Clause 8. 

10. (a) The parties hereto fully understanding and admitting 
that it will be impracticable or extremely difficult to fix the actual 
damage to the Exchange which will result from the breach of this 
contract by the Member, hereby expressly agree and stipulate that 
in the event of the Member's neglect, failure or refusal to deliver 
within a reasonable time to the Exchange as herein required the 
pecan nuts, or any part thereof, which are to be delivered under 
this Agreement the Member will pay to the Exchange the sum of 
seven cents per pound for Schley nuts covered hereby and not less 
than two cents per pound for seedling nuts and five cents for all 
other kinds of varieties covered hereby but not so delivered, as 
liquidated damages for such breach ; and the Member shall upon 
request render the Exchange a statement of all nuts sold outside 
the Exchange with check to cover the damages herein provided for; 
and this statement may in the discretion of the Exchange be made 
a condition precedent to final settlement with the Member. 

(b) The Member agrees that in the event of a breach or 
threatened breach by him of any provision regarding delivery of 
pecans the Exchange shall be entitled to an injunction to prevent 
breach or further breach hereof and to a decree for specific per- 
formance hereof ; and the parties agree that this is a contract of 
sole and exclusive agency under special circumstances and conditions 
and that the Exchange cannot go to the open market and buy 
pecans to replace any which the Member may fail to deliver. 

(c) If the Exchange bring any action whatsoever, by reason 
of a breach or threatened breach hereof, the Member agrees to pay 
to the Exchange all costs of court, costs of bonds and otherwise, 
expenses of travel and all expenses arising out of or caused by the 
litigation and all reasonable attorney's fees expended or incurred 
by it in such proceedings; and all such costs and expenses shall be 
included in the judgment and shall be entitled to the benefit of any 
lien securing any payment thereunder. 

11. The Member agrees that by this Marketing Agreement he is 
helping to carry out the express aims of the Exchange for co- 
operative marketing, for minimizing speculation and waste and for 
stabilizing the pecan nut markets in the interest of the grower, 
the buyer and the public through this and similar obligations signed 

Marketing Pecans 159 

by other Members. The Exchange agrees that during the term of 
this Agreement it will not accept for sale or deal in any pecans except 
for the account of the Members of the Exchange and under Agree- 
ments similar in form to this one and such other form as may be 
adopted by the Board of Directors not inconsistent with this Agree- 
ment, for general use in dealing with its Members. 

12. If this Marketing Agreement be signed by a firm, co-partner- 
ship, corporation or association and the firm, co-partnership, corpora- 
tion or association be terminated by voluntary dissolution or other- 
wise during the existence of this Agreement then it shall apply to 
each and all the individuals thereof after such termination. 

13. It is agreed that this Marketing Agreement contains the 
whole agreement between the Exchange and the Member and no 
statements or representations are of any force or effect unless set 
forth herein. And the Member acknowledges receipt of a copy of 
the By-laws of the Exchange. 

14. In consideration of the undertakings of the Member the 
Exchange accepts the trust created and will use its best efforts not 
only to dispose of all nuts delivered to it during the seasons of 
1923 to 1927 inclusive to the satisfaction of the Member but to 
endeavor by all legitimate means to extend and broaden the market 
for pecan nuts by stimulating old and opening up new markets at 
stable and profitable prices to the end that pecan marketing may be 
established on a permanent and profitable foundation. 

15. The Exchange further engages that it is a grower's co- 
operative, non-profit marketing association without capital stock 
and that its operations will be carried on as economically as consist- 
ently may be ; and that it is operated with equal rights to all and 
special privileges to none. 

16. Each Member shall be entitled to one and only one vote irre- 
spective of tonnage, at any Membership meeting of the Exchange 
for the election of Directors or the transaction of any other business 
coming before any regular or special meeting. 

17. This Agreement binds the heirs, executors, administrators 
or successors of the respective parties hereto; and no Member shall 
be permitted to make a fictitious sale of property in order to evade , 
the obligations of this Agreement. 

In witness whereof the said Exchange has caused these presents 
to be executed in its name and signed on its behalf by its President ; 

160 Pecan-Growing 

and the Member has hereto signed his name the day and year first 
above written. 





It will be helpful to the Exchange for the Member 
to fill out the following as nearly as can be done: 

Acreage Location 

Variety, ages and number, 

of trees each variety 

Production for the 
past three years . . . 


During the early days of the industry it was the impression 
that the pecan was free from serious maladies and that a 
regular spraying schedule would become necessary only in 
the very remote future. Lenient nursery inspection laws and 
the almost phenomenally rapid development of the industry 
produced most favorable conditions for a dissemination of 
both insects and diseases, since nursery stock and budding 
and grafting wood were bought, sold, and exchanged with 
little thought of scattering pests which would, in later j^ears, 
demand serious attention. Several million pounds of pecans 
have been imported from Mexico each year without inspection 
and many pests have been introduced. 

The pecan is probably attacked by fewer serious insect pests 
than almost any of the common orchard fruits; nevertheless, 
some of the most serious must be combatted or the crops of nuts 
will be greatly reduced, and in many cases the trees severely 
injured. In order to combat these insects successfully it is 
necessary to know" their characteristics, complete life history, 
and feeding habits. By recognizing and destroying a pest 
in its incipient stage a great saving in a year's crop of pecans 
may be accomplished, and a general spread of the insect 


162 Pecan-Growing 


(Acrobasis nehulella, Riley) 

The leaf case-bearer is perhaps the most destructive of the 
insects that attack pecans east of the Mississippi River. It 
passes the winter in the larval stage and may be found in 
small bags or casesj singly attached to the buds of the small 
branches. Soon after the buds swell or start growth in the 
spring, these small larvae crawl out of their cases and begin 
feeding on the nearest unfolding buds or tender leaves. They 
are ravenous feeders and, when the numbers are large, are 
capable of defoliating the tree almost completely. In eating 
out the buds and tender twigs, this insect greatly decreases the 
crop of nuts. Furthermore, defoliation just at this time, 
when the tree is making its maximum annual growth, weakens 
it to such an extent that many of the limbs die back a con- 
siderable distance from the terminals. 

The larva or ^^worm" of the pecan leaf case-bearer feeds 
voraciously and grows rapidly after the opening of spring 
and pupates in the case from the latter par^t of. May until 
the first or second week in June, according to climatic condi- 
tions. The pupal state lasts from sixteen to twenty-three 
days, at which time the adult moth emerges and soon begins 
to lay eggs. 

The egg-laying period of the moth extends from the latter 
half of May until about the first of August. From one to 
twenty eggs may be laid on a single leaf. These eggs are 
small, soft, and semi-transparent objects, usually attached 
along the midrib on the under side of the leaflets. The eggs 
hatch from six to nine days later and the larvae, when first 
emerging, are reddish-brown in color. They begin feeding 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 163 

on the loTver surface of the leaves at once. They feed spar- 
ingly during the summer and grow slowly, barely reaching 
a length of six one-hundredths of an inch by autumn. As 
excrement and frass accumulate, the particles are formed 
into a small case, bound together, and lined with silken webs, 
spun by the larva. This case, which gives protection to the 
larva, has one end attached to the leaf ; the other end is open, 
through which the larva feeds. As the larva eats the under 
side of the leaf, the upper surface turns brown. The larva 
begins eating at the spot where the egg is laid, working its 
way to the right and left as it extends its feeding surface in 
a fan-shape design. It thus constructs a winding or tortuous 
tube or case, which is, for a time, much longer than the larva's 
body. As the larva matures, the case becomes almost straight, 
being larger at the feeding end. Feeding of the larvae in the 
summer is not so harmful to the tree as in the spring while 
the buds are unfolding. 

As cool weather approaches, a short time before the leaves 
shed, the larvae desert their cases, crawl down the leaf-stems, 
and take up winter quarters in small oval hibernating cases, 
called hibernacula, which they construct and attach loosely 
around the bud. Here they remain in a semi-dormant stage 
until early the following spring, when the leaf and stami- 
nate flower-buds begin to swell, at which time they resume 

All varieties of pecans that have been exposed to heavy 
infestations of the leaf case-bearer have been attacked. How- 
ever, a wide difference in susceptibility of commercial sorts 
has been observed.' Among those comparatively resistant are 
Moneymaker, Haven, Georgia, Curtis, Russell, Mantura, 

^W. F. Turner. Bull. 49, Ga. State Board of Entomology, p. 13, 

164 Pecan-Growing 

Teche, and Young. Among those showing a high degree of 
susceptibility are Capitol, VanDeman, Schley, Stuart, Nel- 
son, Frotscher, Taylor, Alley, Appomattox, and Delmas. 


Natural enemies of the leaf case-bearer are helpful 
toward its control. In addition to a few species of minute 
parasitic wasps, flies, and predacious bugs attacking this pecan 
enemy, certain birds, including the mocking-bird, blue jay, 
and orchard oriole, have been known to peck open the cases 
and eat out the larvae. 

The best method of control is to spray the trees thoroughly 
with arsenate of lead between the middle of August and the 
last , of September. All efforts to destroy this species by 
spraying with arsenical mixtures during the spring and with 
concentrated lime-sulfur and miscible oils in winter have 
thus far failed. The cases or hibernacula seem to be so 
durable and tightly woven that winter sprays fail to pene- 
trate them to an effective degree. Spraying with arsenate 
of lead in the spring seems to fail largely because a sufficient 
percentage of the larvge is not exposed to the poison at any 
one time to make an application worth while. 

The spray mixture recommended for the August or Sep- 
tember application is as follows : 

Arsenate of lead powder 1 pound 

Lime (unslaked) , 3 pounds 

Water 50 gallons 

The lime is slaked with water, the mixture diluted to ten 
or twelve gallons, and strained through a fine-meshed 
strainer so that no particle large enough to clog the spray 
nozzle will escape into the solution. The arsenate of lead is 

Plate X. — Above, pecan nuts infected by scab. 
Beloir, the pecan weevil, adult male on right, adult 
female on left. 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 165 

made into a thin soupy paste with water and stirred into 
the lime solution. This mixture is then made up to fifty 
gallons with water, at Avhich time it is ready to be applied. 
The lime is added to the mixture to neutralize any free ar- 
senical acid which may be present in the arsenate of lead and 
prevent burning or injury to the foliage of the trees. If 
two pounds of fish-oil soap are added to each fifty gallons of 
the arsenate of lead spray mixture, the spreading and ad- 
hesive qualities will be improved. The effectiveness of ar- 
senate of lead spray in the control of the pecan leaf case- 
bearer depends very largely on the thoroughness of the 


(Acrobasis liehescclla^ Hulst.) 

The nut case-bearer is the most important insect attacking 
pecans west of the Mississippi River, where it is native and 
most prevalent. It has, however, invaded a large percentage 
of the orchards in the southeastern part of the United States, 
and in many sections is a strong rival of the pecan leaf case- 
bearer in the heavy damages wrought. The loss due to this 
insect is somewhat difficult to determine and varies from one 
year to the next. Some years there is almost a total destruc- 
tion of the crop, and at other times the loss is very slight. 
A greater part of the loss attributed to frost in the past has 
been due to this insect. 

The adult is a small gray moth with a wing expanse of 
five-eighths inch. It flies only at night and is not attracted to 
lights. The moth is about the same color as the bark of the 
tree and is also very secretive. On that account it is seldom 
or never seen and is extremely difficult for even an ento- 

166 Pecan-Growing 

mologist to locate. The moth deposits its eggs at the calyx 
end of the nut, as a rule, and seldom lays more than one 
egg to the nut. The eggs are at first white with a greenish 
cast, but about the second day after laying small reddish 
spots appear on the surface and before hatching the egg 
turns almost red. The larva, when it emerges from the egg^ 
is a pinkish-white. It usually bores into the nut at the base 
and spends the remainder of its existence there. After 
entering the nut it becomes gray in color. Just before pupat- 
ing it turns greenish. The pupal stage is passed within the 
nuts, and before pupating the larva weaves a loose cocoon 
from whence comes the name nut case-bearer. From this 
pupa there emerges a moth which starts the next generation. 

The number of generations is largely determined by the 
supply of pecans. In the years in which there is an abun- 
dant crop of nuts there are four generations, but if the nut 
supply is cut short for any reason there may be only one 
generation and a partial second or only two generations. 

The larvae pass the winter on the limbs of the tree at the 
base of buds, and as soon as the first warm days of spring 
come and growth starts they begin feeding at the ends of 
the limbs on the tender leaflets and growing buds. These 
larvae complete their growth in this condition and pupate. 
The moths which issue from these pupae appear from the last 
of April to the end of May, and the maximum number are 
issuing from the 8th to the 15th of May. The larvae which 
come from this first generation of moths attack the nuts 
when they are about the size of a garden pea, and this is the 
time when the major damage is done to the crop. The first 
generation is passed within the nuts, and one larva usually 
destroys, wholly or partially, several clusters of nuts. The 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 167 

larva usually pupates in dried nuts, and before pupating it 
ties several nuts together so they will not fall to the ground. 

The second generation appears in June or July, by which 
time the number of larv« is considerably decimated by 
parasites. On that account the damage by this generation is 
not very great. The moths of the second generation lay 
their eggs on the calices of the nuts much as those of the 
first, except that a larger number are laid at the base of the 
nut. The larvae tunnel out the nuts when they are about 
half grown and pupate in them after spinning a cocoon 
similar to those of the first generation. 

The larv« of the third generation do not enter the nut 
proper but work around between the hull and the nut and 
pass their life there, and moths Avhich emerge from the 
pupge lay their eggs on buds. The larvae which issue from 
this generation are those which pass the winter. 


To control this insect is difficult, but with a proper 
knowledge of the life history and with adequate equipment it 
can be done effectively. Control measures must be adopted at 
the critical time. It is necessary to have a spray outfit w^hich 
will maintain at least 250 pounds pressure, and greater than 
that is desirable. It is advised that only gasoline spraying 
outfits be employed. A gun should be used so that the spray 
may reach the highest part of the tree at a good pressure. 

There is a wide range in the strength of spra}^ Most ento- 
mologists in the Southeast recommend only one pound of 
arsenate of lead powder to fifty gallons of water, and consider 
any more than this largely a waste of material; but ento- 
mologists west of the Mississippi favor the use of as high as 

168 Pecan-Growing 

three pounds of the dry arsenate of lead to fifty gallons 
of water. All agree, however, that the spraying should be 
thorough, covering the tree as completely as possible. 

The time of the first spraying will vary in different lati- 
tudes, and with the difference in earliness and lateness of the 
season, but will be some time between the 8th and the 22d 
of May. A second and a third spraying should be made at 
intervals of ten days after the first. 

Spraying for the second generation of larv« is usually not 
necessary, but when it is needed it should be done the latter 
part of June. 


{Proteopteryx holiana, Sling.) 

The pecan bud-moth is most troublesome on nursery trees. 
It occasionally appears in large numbers and does consider- 
able damage to trees in orchards before they reach any con- 
siderable size. This insect is generally distributed over the 
pecan belts and its attacks are confined very largely to the 

The adult moth has a wing expanse of about five-eighths 
of an inch, and is generally gray mottled with black and 
brown. The blackish-brown zigzag pattern of the fore wings 
extends from the base across the middle to the tips. The hind 
wings are a solid dusky gray. The moths are very abundant 
in autumn and are found on the trunks of the trees or other 
nearby objects. "When they are disturbed they fly away in 
a jerky, zigzag motion for only a few yards, and then return, 
alighting on the trunk with the head down. 

The small, whitish, oval eggs are laid on the twigs of the 
pecans, where oviposition occurs before the leaves come out, 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 169 

and on the upper surface of the leaves after the foliage be- 
comes expanded. The larva is yellowish-green, covered with 
fine hairs, has a black head which becomes dark brown with 
age, and Avhen fully grown is a little more than half an inch 
long. The brownish contents of the alimentary canal show 
plainly through the semi-transparent skin. Pupation may 
take place in the folds of the leaves, in the buds of the trees, 
or under the bark scales of the trunk. 

In the lower South there are five or six generations of this 
species each year. Hibernation being in the adult stage, egg- 
laying begins in the very early spring. Gill points out that 
the average life cycle of this species is forty days — ^five days 
being spent in the egg stage, twenty-five in the larval, and 
ten days in the pupal stage.^ 


The pecan bud-moth very seldom, if ever, does enough 
damage in a bearing orchard to necessitate spraying, but its 
attacks on nursery stock sometimes become serious. Its habit 
of feeding on the bud causes branching of a young tree 
and stunts its growth, which is very objectionable to the nur- 
seryman since his scale of prices usually runs with the height 
or length of his trees. When the trees are kept in a vigorous 
rapidly growing condition, the buds unfold so rapidly that 
the insects are able to inflict very little damage. For this 
reason liberal applications of fertilizers, good nursery soil, 
and efficient cultural methods are the chief essentials in pre- 
venting serious damage of the bud-moth in a pecan nursery. 
When the infestation is heavy, however, it is advisable to 
spray the trees with arsenate of lead in the spring just as 

^ Farmers' Bull., 843, U. S. Dept. of Agric, p. 26. 

170 Pecan-Growing 

the buds are unfolding. The same spray as that employed 
for the pecan leaf case-bearer will be satisfactory. (See 
Fig. 31). 


(Laspeyresia caryana, Fitch.) 
The pecan shuck-worm spends the winter in the larval 
stage in the husk of the pecan, either hanging on the tree or 
on the ground. Pupation takes place in the husk in very 
early spring. Many of the adult moths emerge before the 
leaf and nut development of the pecan, and they are thought 

Si -^ -.-■-r-'im 

Figure 31. — Spraying the pecan nursery. 

to lay most of their eggs on the pignut hickory, which is 
earlier than the pecan. The eggs are laid on the nuts and 
leaves of the pecan during the summer. The incubation 
period of the eggs is about five days. As soon as they hatch, 
the larvae bore into the husk of the nearly matured pecans 
and begin feeding. They sometimes enter the nut, but 
usually confine their feeding to the husk. If the nuts are 
attacked in their early stage of growth, they fail to develop 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 171 

and fall to the ground. Those attacked just before maturity 
have more or less shriveled kernels, and the nuts are difficult 
to separate from the husks at harvest time. Nuts which are 
practically mature before the shuck-worm enters the husk 
ripen in fairly good condition, except that the shells are more 
or less discolored which detracts from their market value. 
This species is thought to feed on the tender twigs of the 
pecan and on the hickory during the interim between 
the emergence of the moth and the formation of the pecan 

The wing expanse of the moth rarely exceeds three-fifths 
of an inch. It is smoky -black, tinged with purple, and has 
short yellowish streaks across the front margin of its fore 
wings. The larva has a creamy-white body and a light brown 
head and is about three-eighths of an inch in length when 
fully grown. 

There are probably three broods of this species in the 
extreme lower South, but possibly only one near the northern 
limits of pecan culture. 

There is a difference in susceptibility of varieties of pecans 
to the shuck-worm. In the infested sections of the piedmont 
or more elevated parts of the pecan belt, the Stuart variety 
is heavily attacked. 


Since the shuck-worm hibernates in the shucks or husks 
of the pecan and the hickory, they should be gathered 
and destroyed in the fall soon after the nuts are harvested. In- 
asmuch as the larva enters the husks almost immediately after 
hatching and is beyond the reach of spray solutions, spraying 
is not generally recommended. Plowing under the husks has 

172 Pecan-Growing 

not been effective in the destruction of the larvag, since they 
will emerge through several inches of ordinary soil. 


{Balaninus caryoe, Horn.) 

The pecan weevil, also called the hickory-nut weevil, at- 
tacks both hickories and pecans. It is distributed practically 
all over the pecan belt, but has caused greatest damage to 
the seedling trees of Texas. 

The adult is a small dark brown beetle tinged with gray, 
with a long snout, very similar to the chestnut beetle. The 
female has a very much longer snout than the male and by 
this means punctures the nut before it reaches full maturity, 
in the late summer, and places the Q^g in the kernel of the 
nut with her ovipositor. The larva is a short thick grub with 
a light brown head. It feeds on the kernel until about the 
time the nut ripens, when it cuts a circular hole through the 
shell and enters the ground to the depth of six or eight 
inches, where it spends the winter in the larval or grub 
stage. Pupation takes place in the ground, and the adult 
beetle emerges in August and September. Egg-laying begins 
very soon' after the beetles emerge. The work of the pecan 
weevil is very easily recognized by the circular holes made 
by the larvae as they leave the nuts. 


If local conditions permit, hogs should be turned into the 
orchard after harvest to clean up the weevil-infested nuts 
which remain on the ground. 

Larvae in the nuts in storage may be destroyed by fumiga- 
tion. The nuts are placed in a nearly air-tight receptacle and 

Injects Attacking the Pecan 173 

a shallow pan set on top of them. One fluid ounce of carbon 
disulfide to each bushel of nuts is poured into the pan and 
the receptacle tightly closed for twenty-four hours. The 
larvffi will then be dead and the nuts may be aired out and 
consumed as desired. Carbon disulfide is highly inflam- 
mable and should be kept away from fire. 


{Cleophora canjcefoIieUa^ Clem.) 

The cigar case-bearer sometimes becomes a serious pest to 
the pecan. However, it is not generally rated as one of the 
most troublesome insects attacking this crop. It is distributed 
practically all over the pecan belt and attacks the hickory 
and black walnut as well. 

This insect spends the winter in the larval stage in cases 
attached to the limbs of the tree. As growth begins in the 
spring, larvae come out of their cases and feed on the unfold- 
ing buds and tender leaves. They pupate in the larval cases 
which appear in the lower South about the middle of May. 
The moths emerge and begin egg-laying in June. The eggs 
hatch within a few days and the larvse enter and feed be- 
tween the two epidermal layers of the leaves. Later they 
come out and construct dark brown cases resembling minia- 
ture cigars. The larvae move these cases around as they feed. 


TThen the insect becomes numerous, it is ad^'isable to 
spray the trees with arsenate of lead in the early spring. 
The spray recommended for the pecan leaf case-bearer will be 

174 Pecan-Growing 


The fall webworm becomes very conspicuous by its webs in 
pecan trees in the late summer and early fall. The colony of 
larvae constructs a web covering a cluster of leaves on which 
they feed. This web is extended to other leaves as those 
within are eaten. The caterpillars leave the web in late 
autumn and pupate in loosely constructed hairy cocoons be- 
neath scales of bark on the trunk or under rubbish on the 
ground. The adult moths emerge in April or May and lay 
their eggs in clusters on the leaves of the pecan tree. These 
eggs hatch about a week later, and each group of larvae form 
a web in which they feed. These larvse pupate, and the 
second brood of moths are out by the middle of the summer. 
From the eggs of these moths hatch out the larvge which are 
so conspicuous, by their webs, in pecan trees during the fall. 


Webs of the first generation of larvae may be destroyed 
by burning them out w^th a torch fixed on the end of 
a long pole, or twisted out of the trees by means of a long 
slender pole with a nail driven through one end. If this work 
is done thoroughly, the number of larvse in the second genera- 
tion will be small. 

When there is a heavy infestation of the fall webworm, 
the trees may be sprayed with arsenate of lead, using the 
same mixture as is recommended for the leaf case-bearer. 


(Datana integerrima, G. & R.) 
The egg-laying habits of the adult of the pecan or walnut 
caterpillar are very similar to those of the fall webworm. 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 175 

The caterpillars of this species, however, feed in mass but 
form no web. The larvae molt several times and pnpate in 
the soil, where they spend the winter in the pupal state. 
The adult moths emerge from the overwintering pupae in 
early summer. There are two generations each year, and it 
is the second generation of larvae that usually appears in 
such large numbers. 


As the larvae appear in large numbers, the trees 
should be sprayed with arsenate of lead. Plowing the soil 
after the larvae have pupated will destroy many of them. 


(Oncideres cingulatus, Say.) 
The twig-girdler has a fondness for the hickory and persim- 
mon as well as for the pecan. It has a very broad distribu- 
tion, being found practically all over the pecan belt. The 
female beetle first girdles the twig from one to two feet from 
the terminal end, then deposits the eggs in small punctures in 
the bark just below the leaf -scars on the twig. This is done in 
late August and in September. The girdled twig soon dies and 
is likely to be blown to the ground by the wind very soon 
afterward. This girdling seems to be for the purpose of 
killing the twig and preventing the egg being crushed by the 
growing tissue and also to provide more suitable food for 
the larvee. The eggs hatch about four weeks after being 
laid, and the young larvae begin feeding just under the bark 
of the girdled twig. They continue feeding during the warmer 
periods of weather in winter and remain in the larval stage 
until the following August, at which time they pass through 



the pupal stage and soon emerge as 
adult beetles ready to renew the life 
cycle. Some few of the pupae are 
thought to remain over winter, and the 
adults emerge the second year. When 
twig-girdlers appear in large num- 
bers they cause serious damage to 
pecan nursery stock and small trees in 
the orchard. They do very limited 
harm to the large bearing trees (Fig. 


Since the girdled or cut-off twigs con- 
tain the eggs and larvae of this beetle, 
the most satisfactory method of reduc- 
ing the numbers for the following sea- 
son is to collect and destroy the infested 
twigs. Hickory and persimmon trees 
growing near should also have the 
twigs gathered and destroyed. 

Spraying with arsenate of lead has 
been effective in protecting young 
pecan trees against the twig-girdler. 
One and one-half pounds of powdered 
arsenate of lead to three pounds of 
lime are used with fifty gallons of water for this spray. The 
first spraying is given about the 20th of August or just 
before beetles are known to begin girdling the twigs. The 
second spraying is about the 20th of September, or about 
three weeks following the first application. 

Figure 32. — The twig- 
girdler ; a, beetle ; &, 
larval tunnels ; c, gir- 
dling work of adult. 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 177 


The commonest species of borers attacking the trunks and 
larger limbs of the pecan are the flathead borers {Chryso- 
hothris femorata, Fob.) and the Cossid borer {Cassula nvag- 
nifica, Stecker.). The flathead borers are the more destructive. 
The adult of this species is a flat dark beetle. The larvae bore 
into the bark and feed on the cambium, which is the most 
vital part of the trunk. When a number of the larvae attack 
a tree, especially a small one, they are likely to destroy the 
cambium layer all the way around and kill it outright. The 
attacks of this borer may be located by cracks and depres- 
sions! in the outer bark. About the only remedy known at 
this time is to dig out the borers and paint the wounds with 
pine tar or white lead paint. 

The adult of the Cossid borer is a moth sometimes spoken 
of as the roundhead pecan borer. The larvae bore deeply into 
the body of the tree. Their attacks are easily located by 
quantities of reddish-brown castings at the base of the in- 
fested tree. Pupation takes place in the burrows and the 
moth comes out in the spring. These borers can be destroyed 
easily in the burrows by injecting a few drops of carbon 
disulfide by means of a medicine dropper, and then plugging 
the hole with a small piece of wax or stiff moistened clay. 

'Svood-lice" or termites 

{Leucotermes californica, KoUer.) 

Termites — wood-lice or white ants, as they are called — feed 
largely on dead and decaying wood, and may be found under 
the bark of felled trees and in the decaying twigs scattered 
about in the litter where a fair degree of moisture is main- 

178 Pecan-Growing 

tained. They often attack wood foundations of buildings and 
do considerable damage. This species also attacks live plants, 
especially the tap-roots of young pecan trees when these are 
set on newly cleared land in close proximity to decayed forest 
tree roots containing wood-lice, and when litter, leaves, and 
straw containing dead twigs, as mulch, are hauled in from 
the woods and spread around the young trees. 

Termites live in colonies and, on account of their under- 
ground habits of feeding, often attack a small pecan tree 
and completely hollow out the tap-root and extend their 
feeding gallery up into the main stem before the damage 
is discovered. They rarely cause trouble to pecans on land 
free of decaying parts of forest trees, and do very little 
harm to trees of considerable size. Their chief damage is 
to newly set trees for a pecan orchard, and to young seed- 
lings in the nursery when grafting is practiced. 


When colonies of termites can be located, they may 
be destroyed by fumigating with carbon disulfide. How- 
ever, the simplest method of control is to keep pecans off the 
land until most of the remains of the forest trees have been 
cleared away or decayed completely and to use no litter from 
the woods as mulch. 


{PhyllopTiaga sp.) 
June-bugs sometimes become injurious to pecan trees, and 
when they do the damage is considerable. The June-bug is 
the adult of a common grub-worm, which is found in pas- 
tures and grass lands and in old rotten stumps. It attacks 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 179 

corn, cotton, and small grains. These insects have a life 
history which extends from one to three years, and in 
localities in which they are abundant outbreaks may be 
expected at such intervals. The June-bug feeds at night 
and cuts small pieces from the leaves and at dawn hides 
under piles of leaves or any kind of rubbish which may be 
at hand. 

The best way to control these insects is in the larval stage 
by plowing up the ground in winter and exposing the pupae 
and larvae to the elements, attacks of birds, and other similar 
agencies. This is not always possible, and under such condi- 
tions the trees may be sprayed with arsenate of lead at the 
rate of two pounds to fifty gallons of water. 


(Sinoxylon hasilaris, Say.) 
Several closely allied beetles often attack pecan trees, boring 
small holes at the juncture of the two limbs or sometimes enter- 
ing small trees and entirely girdling them by cutting a cir- 
cular channel just under the bark entirely around the trunk. 
No remedy is kno^^^l for this class of damage, but as these 
insects more often attack trees in a weakened condition, pre- 
cautions may be taken to keep them healthy. It is possible 
that a repellent wash would keep the beetles from working. 


The pecan is not immune to scale insects. They have not 
become of sufficient importance, however, to necessitate spray- 
ing as is the case for apples, peaches, pears, and other orchard 

180 Pecan-Growing 


{Nazera viridula) 

Turner' and Demaree,^ working independently, found 
southern green stinkbug {Nazera viridula) to be the chief 
cause of pecan kernel-spot. Heretofore the latter has been 
treated as a disease, but the spot seems merely to be injuries 
caused by insects. 

The spots on the kernels of the pecan, caused by this insect, 
can, be detected only after the nuts are shelled. The spots 
are circular in outline, slightly sunken, brown to black in 
color, about one-eighth of an inch across, and about one- 
sixteenth of an inch deep. 

The stinkbug. is rather generally distributed in the lower 
South. It is decidedly affected by low temperatures, and its 
numbers are very greatly reduced when the temperature falls 
as low as 15 degrees F. The bugs attack cowpeas in prefer- 
ence to almost any other plant and the vines furnish a favorite 
breeding place. The eggs are laid in clusters on the under sur- 
faces of the leaves. When cowpeas are grown as a cover-crop in 
a pecan orchard, the vines frequently begin to dry up in Sep- 
tember. "When the bugs find their food becoming scarce, they 
leave the pea vines and go to the pecan trees, where they start 
feeding by puncturing the young nuts and sucking the juices 
without leaving any visible sign of the injury. They may 
inject some toxic substance into the pecan which they pierce, 
but there seems to be very little evidence that they introduce 
any specific disease organism. 

^ Turner, W. F., Nazera viridula and Kernel spot of pecans. Science 
N. S. Vol. 47, p. 491, 1918. 

^Demaree, J. B., Proceedings Ga.-Fla. Pecan Growers' Assoc, 

Insects Attacking the Pecan 181 

The stinkbug feeds readily on soybeans, but attacks velvet 
beans only when forced to do so by a scarcity of other more 
desirable food. For this reason, growers have adopted a gen- 
eral policy of planting velvet beans instead of cowpeas as a 
cover-crop in a pecan orchard after it comes into bearing. 

The insect attacks the nnts on the lower limbs very much 
more severely than those higher up. Thus, in years of heavy 
infestation, it is good orchard practice to harvest the nuts 
from the lower limbs and keep them separate. 



The pecan is subject to a considerable number of distinct 
diseases, only a few of which are known to cause serious 
damage. Not all of those herein mentioned are sufficiently 
harmful at present to be of particular economic importance, 
but it is well for the grower to be able to differentiate them 
from the more serious diseases, and to know some of their 
outstanding characteristics in case they develop more de- 
structive tendencies in the future. 

(Fusicladium effuswn, Wint.) 

Scab is probably the most serious disease of the pecan, and 
when the infection is heavy the entire crop of nuts may be 
destroyed. The disease is caused by a fungus attacking the 
leaves, twigs, and nuts. It is characterized by a dark velvety 
superficial growth confined to rounded spots or pustules rang- 
ing in size from mere specks to an eighth of an inch or more 
in diameter. In these pustules the spores of the fungus are 
developed. The spores may be scattered from tree to tree by 
wind or insects, so that the disease may spread rapidly when 
susceptible varieties are present. When these spores fall upon 
leaves, twigs, or nuts, in the presence of moisture, they germi- 
nate and send mycelium or the vegetative part of the fungus 
into the green and tender tissues, causing new pustules. 

Severe infection may kill the tips of the leaves, but the 


Pecan Diseases y and Spraying Outfits 183 

greatest damage is with the nuts. Early in the season it is 
not nncommon for the entire crop of nuts to become so badly 
damaged that they fall to the ground. Infection late in the 
season is likely to cause the nuts to be undersized and to leave 
a large percentage of mere empty shells. 

Pecan scab is very generally distributed over the south- 
eastern states and to some extent over the entire pecan belt- 
It is most severe along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts where 
there is an abundant rainfall and a humid atmosphere 
throughout most of the growing season. The severity of the 
disease diminishes as the distance from the coast and the 
elevation of the land above sea level are increased. Scab does 
comparatively little damage to pecans 150 to 200 miles from 
the coast, except on certain varieties known to be decidedly 

Scab is apparently carried over winter on the small diseased 
spots on the twigs. The severity of the disease fluctuates from 
year to jear somewhat according to the weather conditions. 
Frequent rains and a constant humid atmosphere during the 
spring and early summer produce conditions favorable to 
severe infections of scab. In west Texas, where the rainfall is 
light and the atmosphere less humid and where the elevation 
is above 800 feet, scab is of minor consideration in the com- 
mercial orchards and native groves. However, when some of 
the west Texas varieties of pecans, the San Saba for example, 
are planted in the coast country of the southeastern states, 
they are very susceptible to the scab disease. 

*The entire crop of Beveridge pecans was destroyed by scab for a 
period of several years at the Georgia Experiment Station which 
IS more than 200 miles from the Atlantic Coast and has an ele- 
vation above sea level of 046 feet. 

184 Pecan-Growing 

There is a great variation in the susceptibility of vareties 
of pecans to scab. Some are practically immune, others are so 
susceptible that practically the entire crop is lost when they 
are planted in a region with little elevation and near the 
coast. Susceptible varieties near the coast may be highly re- 
sistant when grown further inland; the reverse is true when 
varieties are transferred from inland to coast regions. Some 
of the varieties that have been planted on the coastal plains of 
the southeastern states may be grouped as follows, according 
to their susceptibility or resistance to scab : Very susceptible, 
Delmas, Georgia, and San Saba; partially susceptible and 
sometimes severely attacked, Bolton, Pabst, Schley, and Van 
Deman; usually free of disease but occasionally attacked, 
Alley, Mobile, Moore, and Nelson. Those practically immune 
are Frotscher, Moneymaker, Russell, Stuart, Success, and 
Teche. During periods of frequent rains and hea^^ dews the 
varieties having considerable resistance are likely to be se- 
verely attacked, and very susceptible kinds may be destroyed 


The propagation of varieties of pecans immune or 
highly resistant to scab is one of the most satisfactory 
and surest means of control. Susceptible varieties may be 
top-worked with cions from highly resistant or immune 

Spraying the trees with bordeaux mixture will be effective 
in holding the scab in check, provided the varieties are not 
unusually susceptible. The following proportions are satis- 
factory : 





Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 185 

Copper sulfate (blue stone) 4 pounds 

Lime (unslaked) ...... .- 6 pounds 

Water 50 gallons ^ 

From three to four sprayings should be given during the 
growing period. The time of the first application will depend 
largely on the season, latitude, and time of appearance of 
scab. Under average conditions scab may be expected to ap- 
pear in small spots on the leaves of pecan trees in the south- 
eastern states, the latter part of May or early June, necessi^ 
tating the first application of spray. The second spraying is 
given in the latter half of June or about three weeks following 
the first. The third is put on about the middle of July, and 
the fourth from the 15th to the 20th of August. 

In some cases bordeaux mixture causes severe foliage injury 
to pecans. This may be overcome partially by the substitution 
of a lime-sulfur or a modified lime-sulfur spray (one gallon of 
concentrated lime-sulfur solution added to a 1-2-50 bordeaux 
mixture) for the third and fourth bordeaux sprays. The 
lime-sulfur spray may be made by adding one gallon of con- 
centrated lime-sulfur solution to fifty gallons of water. 


There is a divergence of opinion as to the cause of pecan 

^ Dissolve the copper sulfate in a small quantity of hot water in a 
tub or barrel. Slake the lime in another vessel and make it up to 25 
gallons with water. Pour the two solutions into a third vessel at 
the same time and stir well. Bordeaux mixture should be strained as 
it is put into the spray tank. As copper sulfate solutions attack iron 
or tin, they should be prepared in stone or wooden vessels. When it 
is desired to spray for insects, as the case-bearer, bud-worm. faU 
webworm, and fungous diseases at the same time, one pound of 
powdered arsenate of lead is added to each 50 gaUons of bordeaux 

186 Pecan-Growing 

rosette. Some authorities ' treat it as a chloratic disease and 
class it with the infectious mosaics ; others "" place it with the 
non-infectious diseases arising from malnutrition. In either 
case, proper soil management will largely overcome the trouble. 

Early stages of the rosette may be detected by the small, 
wrinkled, mottled leaves near the ends of the branches. The 
disturbance may affect the whole tree, but it is more likely 
to appear first on one or more branches. The affected branches 
fail to grow full length, causing the leaves and lateral branches 
to form in a mass, which gives a rosette effect. In severe cases 
the twigs die back several inches from the terminals, this 
usually occurring in late summer. The following spring the 
buds below the dead portion of the twig start a growth which 
appears to be healthy and normal, but by midsummer the 
growth is again shortened and rosettes formed as in the pre- 
vious year. Unless the tree recovers, as it sometimes does, this 
putting out of new gi^owth and dying back continues year 
after year until the tree develops a bushy top badly disfigured 
with many dead terminals. Pecan trees very seldom die as 
a direct result of rosette. However, affected trees bear very 
few nuts, and having been weakened by rosette, may readily 
succumb to other maladies. 

The rapid spread of the pecan industry and the general 
lack of knowledge of what the trees require have led many 
growers to plant orchards on soils totally unsuited to the 
crop. As a result, rosette is found in the pecan orchards of 
the southeastern states in varying degrees, probably ranging 
from 10 to 20 per cent of the total planted. Applications of 

^Rand, Pecan Rosette, V. S. Dept. Agr. BuH., No. 1038. 
^Mc^Iiirran, Pecan Rosette in Relation to Soil Deficiency, U. S. 
Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bull., No. 756. 

Pecan Diseases , and Spraying Outfits 187 

an abundant supply of humus-forming materials and liberal 
supplies of plant-food to the soil, coupled with certain im- 
provements in the texture of the soil so as to increase greatly 
its water-holding capacity, would probably reclaim or pro- 
duce healthy trees in practically all of the rosetted orchards 
at the present time. In many instances, however, it would 
not be a profitable expenditure of effort. 

Pecans are not suited to infertile deep sandy soils or to 
clay soils underlaid with sand or badly washed and depleted 
hillside soils. The advisability of trying to increase and 
maintain the fertilit^^ of such soils is doubtful, especially 
since good pecan soil can be secured at reasonable prices. On 
the other hand, rosetted pecan trees growing on soils capable 
of permanent improvement may be reclaimed profitably. 

The most economical method of soil improvement to over- 
come pecan rosette is a practical problem for the individual 
grower. Heavy applications of stable manure supplemented 
by a complete commercial fertilizer, containing its nitrogen 
in an organic form, worked into the soil beneath the trees and 
extending well out beyond the natural spread of the limbs, 
may be expected to give good results. Whether this method 
is preferable to or more economical than the growing and 
turning under of leguminous cover-crops supplemented by 
commercial fertilizers must be determined by the facilities 
of the individual grower and local conditions. 

The application of lime to the soil has given poor results 
so far as the control of rosette is concerned. 

A common mistake of growers who set out pecan trees on 
improved soils is that they plant the orchards too heavily with 
intercultural crops and do not supply sufficient plant-food for 
the first four or five years. It is much less difficult to prevent 

188 Pecan-Growing 

rosette in young pecan trees than it is to reclaim old 
trees that have rosetted for a number of years. For this 
reason, growers should begin soil improvement with the plant- 
ing of the orchard and see that the trees are well fed from 
the start. 


{Botryospceria herengerianay De Not.) 
Diebaek of pecans has been confused by growers with 
rosette and also with winter-injury. Matz has show^n, how- 
ever, that the disease is caused by a specific fungus and is 
distinct.' He says that ^^ Towards the base of a partly diseased 
twig, the bark is often of a water-soaked, waxy appearance, 
and there is usually a definite margin between the infected 
and healthy tissue. The older diseased portions of the bark 
or twigs and branches are dry and sunken, the longitudinal 
ruptures in these being more conspicuous, and bear the fruit- 
ing bodies of the fungus which are embedded in a black 
matrix or stroma. Numerous young shoots often start out 
further back on the branches which have been partly killed. 
As the disease spreads these young shoots may become in- 
fected and ultimately die. These dead clusters of short 
branches suggest a similar symptom commonly observed in 
rosette. However, this, as in rosette, is a physiological re- 
action. No deformity or crumpling of leaves is found to be 
due directly to diebaek, though it may be associated with it 
through some other cause.'' 


Pruning out and burning all dead wood of pecan trees 
infected with the diebaek disease is the means of control 

^ J. Matz, Bull. 147, Fla. Exp. Sta., pp. 142-143. 

Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 189 

most generally recommended. The dead and diseased twigs 
are difficult to locate in winter. More effective w^ork can thus 
be done if the trees are carefully gone over in the fall just 
as the leaves begin to shed, and again in the spring after the 
buds swell. In both operations the diseased twigs are cut off 
well down below the juncture of the dead and the live wood 
so as to make certain of removing all infected tissues. The 
control of dieback depends very largely on keeping out dead 
and weakened branches. Twigs injured by rosette or by at- 
tacks of insects often afford harboring places for the dieback 
fungus, and so far as possible should be pruned and destroyed. 


{Pliylloticta caryce, Peck.) 

Pecan nursery blight is confined to the leaves and is prin- 
cipally a disease of nursery stock. It is, however, sometimes 
found on mature trees, especially those weakened by over- 
crowded planting or ^Wth their vitality lowered by rosette. 
In fact, attacks of the disease are favored by any condition 
which may lower the vitality of the tree. 

The disease has about the same distribution as that of pecan 
scab and is usually first observed in April soon after the 
leaves reach full size. Eand found that the first indication 
of infection of nursery blight appeared as ^^ Minute, roundish 
spots, which are dark reddish brown on the upper leaf surface 
and blackish on the lower. These slowly increase in size until 
a diameter of two to five mm. is often reached in the indi- 
vidual spots. "With increase in size the center of the spot 
on the upper surface assumes an ashen-gray color, which is 
usually bordered with reddish brown, while the lower surface 
remains black throughout or with an occasional tiny ashen- 

190 Pecan-Growing 

gray spot in the center of this dark colored area. ' " As these 
spots coalesce, the leaf dries up and falls to the ground. 


Nursery blight can be controlled by spraying with bor- 
deaux mixtures of the same strength as recommended 
for pecan scab. The first application is given in the spring 
soon after the trees are fully leaved out. The spraying should 
be repeated every three or four weeks until late summer, or 
until the trees have attained a normal amount of annual 
growth. From four to five applications of the bordeaux 
mixture will give the trees ample protection against the 


{Cercospora fusca, Eand. Syn. Clasterospoinum diffuswrrif 

H. &W.) 

The brown leaf -spot of pecans is found practically all over 
the pecan belt. The disease is thought to attack some species 
of hickories as well. It attacks the leaves of pecans and there 
seems to be very little difference in resistance of the leading 
commercial varieties. Brown leaf-spot is not rated with scab 
as a menace to pecans although it reaches a point of severity 
when the trees are defoliated. 

Leaf infection occurs from early summer until fall. The 
disease is characterized by very small irregular dark reddish- 
brown spots which extend through the tissues of the leaves 
and have about the same form and color on both sides. As 
the spots increase in size they lose a part of their irregular 

^ Rand, F. V. Some Diseases of Pecans, Journ. Agr. Research. Vol. 
1, No. 4, pp. 303-337. 

Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Out -fits 191 

outlines and assume a lighter reddish-brown color with a 
darker brown border. When the spots reach about a half 
inch in diameter, the leaves drop. From five to six weeks 
after the spots form, club-shaped spores of the fungus are 
produced, usually on the upper surface. The disease is spread 
by these spores w^hich are carried by the ^^dnd to other leaves 
which become infected in turn so that new spots form. 


The pecan bro^Ti leaf-spot rarely reaches such severity 
as to necessitate spraying. However, the disease may 
be controlled by carrying out the same spray schedule with 
bordeaux mixture as is recommended for pecan nursery blight. 


{Microsphoera alni, Salm.) 

Powdery-mildew occurs rather generally throughout the 
pecan belt. It makes its appearance in the early part of the 
summer and is very noticable during rainy and humid periods. 
The fungus frequently covers the leaves and nuts with a 
white powdery growth, causing only slight damage. 

Spraying Avith bordeaux mixture, as recommended for nurs- 
ery blight, will control this disease. 


{Glomerella cingiilata, S. V. Von S.) 
Anthraenose is well distributed throughout most localities 
in which the pecan is grown commercially. Attacks have been 
light and the industry has not suffered any serious effects 
from the disease. 

192 Pecan-Growing 

Infections of anthracnose occur on both the leaves and the 
nuts of the pecans. The fungus forms reddish to grayish- 
brown blotches on the leaves, varying in size, sometimes 
covering the entire leaf. On account of the reddish color 
of the blotches the disease is often spoken of as ''rust'' by 
pecan-growers. The blotches on the nuts are black, irregu- 
lar, and slightly sunken below the surrounding healthy 

In extreme cases infected young nuts and leaves may be 
attacked so severely that they fall to the ground. Generally, 
however, the infection is on the outer surface of the husks of 
the nuts and on mature leaves, where very little damage is 
done. The losses to growers from anthracnose have been so 
small that specific control measures have been thought un- 


(Microstrojim juglandis, (Bering.) Sacc, var, 
robv^turn, Higgins.) 

The distribution of this disease is not well known. It is 
found on the catkins of practically all the commercial varieties 
of pecans in the early spring soon after the catkins reach full 
size. Infected staminate flowers of catkins are somewhat 
distorted and are of a paler green hue than normally. 
Higgins found that ''The stamens and under-surface of sub- 
tending bracts were covered with a white substance w^hich, 
at first glance, gave the impression of white fly; but, which, 
on examination, was found to be the w^hite spore-clusters and 
basidia of a fungus belonging to the genus Microstroma. A 
little later when the pollen was being shed, the contrast be- 
tween healthy and diseased catkins was made more conspicu- 

Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 193 

ous by the failure of infected anthers to dehisce."^ The 
diseased anthers contained degenerate or empty pollen-grains 
which were often coUajpsed shells. 

The fungus, which was determined as a robust variety of 
Microstroma juglandis, sometimes infects and destroys as 
much as one-third of the pollen. However, since the pecan 
normally produces a superabundance of pollen, the disease is 
not likely to become a menace to the industry unless the in- 
fectiousness of the organism becomes very much greater than 
has thus far been reported. No measures of control have yet 
been thought necessary, nor have any been offered. 


{Bactermm tuniefaciens, Sm. and Town.) 
The well-known crown-gall organism which afflicts so many 
orchard trees attacks the pecan also. While both the hard and 
the soft types of crown-gall have been found on the pecan, 
natural infection of either type is only occasional in the 
nursery. The common practice of digging out and burning 
all diseased plants recommended for nurseries in general is 
equally applicable to the pecan nursery or infected trees. 
"When a piece of soil is know^n to be badly infected with 
crown-gall, pecans should not be planted there for several 


This disease usually appears about midsummer, and in 

the early stages no evidence of infection or injury of any 

kind can be observed on the outside of the nut, but wathin 

there is a brow^ning and disorganization of the internal 

^Higgins. B. B. A Disease of Pecan Catkins, Phytopathology, 7: 
pp. 42-45, Fig. 1, 1917. 

194 Pecan-Growing 

tissues. The dead brown tissues are surrounded by a seem- 
ingly normal green husk. However, as the disease progresses, 
sunken glossy black spots and blotches appear on the outside 
of the husks and the nuts soon fall to the ground. 

Little is known of this disease, and so far it has not caused 
very serious trouble. Often when there are three or four 
nuts in one cluster, apparently the weaker ones succumb to 
the disease, indicating what some have termed a self-pruning 


Wounds arising from mechanical injuries of pecan trees, 
as pruning, hail, windstorms, and the like, make possible 
points of entrance of wood-rotting fungi. Unless the wounds 
are given some protective covering during the healing-over 
process, serious injuries are likely to result. Painting the 
wounds with coal tar is one of the simplest methods of pro- 
tection. It may be necessary to paint large wounds twice or 
three times before they finally heal. "Wounds already invaded 
by the wood-rotting fungi should be cut out down to the 
sound wood before treating. In this case a coat of creosote 
followed by a coat of coal tar is advisable. Large cavities, 
after the decayed wood has been chiseled out and the walls 
have been disinfected, may be filled with concrete, a method 
practiced in modern tree-surgery. 


Tip-burn of pecans is indicated by the tips and the margin 
of the leaflets becoming brown in hot dry periods. If the 
weather conditions are extreme the leaves may die. Tip-burn 
is thought to be due to excessive evaporation. It is not 
considered a very serious trouble. 

Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 195 

Winter-injury is much more troublesome than tip-burn, 
and under certain conditions causes heavy losses in young 
orchards. The trouble is caused by sudden and great changes 
or fluctuations in the temperature in late autumn and win- 
ter. Vigorous young trees making a late fall growth are 
most likely to be injured. The tender cambium cells do not 
seem to be able to adjust themselves to sudden freezing fol- 
lowing a warm period of weather. More especially, however, 
does the injury result when the sun shines out warm sud- 
denly foUoA^dng a freeze. Winter-injury usually occurs on 
the trunks of the trees just above the ground. On examina- 
tion, the injured portion shows a dark watery condition just 
under the bark and has a sour odor. The injury is thus 
sometimes called ^^sour sap." 

Winter-injury rarely affects pecan trees after they are 
eight or nine years of age, or after they begin to bear com- 
mercial crops of nuts. It can be largely prevented, however, 
by wrapping the younger trees with fertilizer bags or some 
similar material in the late fall just before the weather turns 
cold. The trunk is ^vi^apped ^^dth four to six thicknesses of 
the sacking material for a distance of about three feet above 
the ground, and is allowed to remain until the following 

If the orchard is sown to cover-crops in June or July and 
no fertilizer applied after that date, the trees will cease 
growing earlier in the fall and will be more resistant to cold 


For most satisfactory results it is necessary to have an outfit 
with sufficient capacity and power to spray satisfactorily a 

196 Pecan-Growing 

pecan orchard within the period in which spraying has been 
found to be effective. Only a motor-driven spray pump can 
be relied on for bearing pecan trees. Orchards of medinm- 
sized trees, and limited in area, may be sprayed efficiently 
with an ontjfit ranging from four to six horse power. Large 
commercial orchards require high power sprayers of eight to 
ten horse power. The low power machines are practically 
worthless in a pecan orchard after the trees reach the bear- 
ing age. 

The high capacity spray outfit has no tower. The operator 
sprays from the ground or from the top of the tank. The spray 
rod will not do effective work for more than about twenty 
feet above the ground and for this reason it has been almost 
completely supplanted by the spray gun. The latter works 
best on a high power machine so that effective spraying can 
be accomplished from fifty to sixty feet above the ground. 
(See Plate XI).. 

A ten horse power outfit has the capacity for operating two 
guns at one time. The output of spray solution will average 
about eight gallons a minute. The medium-sized outfits can 
operate only one spray gun, while the small or low power 
machines having from one to two horse power, are not recom- 
mended for the use of a spray gun. A pressure of 250 to 300 
pounds should be maintained to use a spray gun satisfac- 
torily. It is, therefore, necessary to employ only the best 
grade of high pressure spray hose connected with long-stem 
couplings to prevent blowing apart when subjected to high 

The wheels of the tank truck should be rather high and 
have broad tires in order to lessen the draft over soft and 
uneven ground when the tank is full of spray solution. A 

Pecan Diseases, and Spraying Outfits 197 

tank with a rather large capacity should be used in order to 
lessen the necessity of refilling so often. Unless there is a 
convenient water supply in or near the orchard, much time 
will be lost in driving to the filling station each time the 
spray tank becomes empty. This loss of time may be over- 
come partially by hauling the spray material to the machine 
in barrels or some other convenient receptacle. When feas- 
ible, the refilling station should be provided with an elevated 
tank so that the spray or supply tank can be filled by gravity. 
When it is necessary to fill the spray tank from nearby 
streams or ponds, much time can be saved by equipping the 
spray pump with an attachment that will enable the operator 
to let a hose do\\Ti into a stream and pump the water into 
the tank. 

A pecan tree should be sprayed quickly and with the loss 
of as little spray material as possible. A good method is to 
begin on the lower limbs and move the spray gun to the 
right and left with short uniform horizontal movements, 
gradually working up to the top of the tree. On reaching 
the top, another section of the tree is sprayed by similar 
movements directed downward. The number of sections are 
governed by the size of the specimen. By this method, the 
tree can be sprayed uniformly and thus avoid overlapping 
in some places and omitting others. 


Many important reports on nuts for human food are 
coming from public and private laboratories, and the litera- 
ture on the question has become voluminous. Nuts furnish 
not only the elements required for human food, proteins, oils, 
and carbohydrates, but also the vitamine B/ In fact, nuts 
contain most of the mineral essentials for the building of 
sound human tissue. The pecan is in the first rank of nuts 
as human food, and the public is becoming better informed 
as to its high food value, so that this nut is destined to have 
an important place in the regular bill of fare. 

Considering the high oil-content of the kernels, it is not 
improbable that some special use will be found for pecan oil. 
As yet, however, the expressing of oil is not practiced com- 
mercially, and the nuts are valued entirely for their meat or 

The pecan kernel is highly nutritious and, when thoroughly 
masticated, is easily digested. Probably no product of the 
American soil is more palatable in its raw stage, even to the 
novice, than the pecan. It is prized most highly for dessert 
purposes. It is also coming into very extensive use in the 
making of confectioneries, cakes, breads, and salads. 

^Cajori (1920) Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Chem. 17, 65. 


utilization of the Pecan 199 


All edible nnts are high in nutritive food value, and far 
exceed, in this respect, most other food substances. As com- 
pared with other nuts, the pecan is outstanding in its content 
of fat and has more calories to a pound of kernels. The 
pecan, like several other nuts, contains about 50 per cent of 
shell, which of course reduces the food value for dessert pur- 
poses of the gross product as found on the market. 


Composition of Xuts ^ 
(Edible portions) 

Per Cent Per Cent Per Cent Per Cent Calories to 

Kind of Nut Protein Fats Carbohydrates Ash a Pound 

Pecan nuts 11.0 71.2 13.3 1.5 3633 

Almonds 21.0 54.9 17.3 2.0 3030 

Brazil nuts 17.0 66.8 7.0 3.9 3329 

Filberts 15.6 65.3 13.0 2.4 3432 

Hickory nuts 15.4 67.4 11.4 2.1 3495 

Persian walnuts 16.7 64.4 14.8 1.3 3305 

Chestnuts 6.2 5.4 42.1 1.3 1125 

Butternuts 27.9 61.2 3.4 3.0 3371 

Walnuts 27.6 56.3 11.7 1.9 3105 

Coconuts 5.7 50.6 27.9 1.7 2986 

Peanuts 32.0 47.0 24.4 2.0 2560 

The food value of pecan meats in calories to a pound is 
3633, whereas the average value of cereals is 1654 and that 
of meat 810 calories to a pound, which is less than one-fourth 
that of pecans. This high caloric value of pecans is, of 
course, due to the high fat — or oil — content of the meats. 

The food value of fresh fruits and vegetables in calories 
to a pound, as compared with pecans, runs very low, aver- 
aging not over 300, or less than one-twelfth that of pecans. 
In other words, one pound of pecan meats has the same 

* From Kellog, 15th Ann. Report. Xat. Xut Growers' Assoc. 



energy and heat-producing value as twelve pounds of fresh 
fruits or vegetables. 

A man at ordinary work requires from 2500 to 3000 calories 
a day for energy production, and 0.28 pounds of protein for 
tissue-building. From the caloric value of pecans, it is readily 
observed that a very small quantity of these nuts supple- 
mented with fresh fruits and vegetables would supply him. 
Furthermore, the factors of flavor and palatability of the 
pecan, which are beyond its nutritive value as shown by 
analyses, enter into the trade prices of this nut, since such 
qualities go far toward popularizing it with the consumers. 


Composition of Meats, Cereals, Fruits and Vegetables 

(Edible Portions) 


Water Protein Fats hydrates Ash Calories 
per ct. per ct. per ct. per ct. per ct. to a lb. 

Pecan nuts 11.0 71.2 13.3 1.5 3633 

Porterhouse steak 19.1 16.1 975 

Mutton 15.1 14.7 890 

Pork chops 13.4 24.2 1245 

Ham, smoked 14.2 33.4 1635 

Bacon, smoked 9.1 62.2 2715 

Sausage, frankfort 19.6 18.9 1155 

Beef soup 4.4 0.4 120 

Chicken 13.7 12.3 765 

Goose 13.4 29.8 1475 

Turkey 16.1 18.4 1060 


Whole wheat flour 

Macaroni, vermicelli, etc. 
Wheat breakfast food . . . 

Buckwheat flour 

Rye flour 


Oat breakfast food 





























Beans, dried 12 . 6 

25.5 1.8 59.6 



Vtilizatioii of the Pecan 


per ct. 

Beans, string 83 . 

Beets 70.0 

Cabbage 77 . 7 

Celery 75 . 6 

Corn, green (sweet) 75.4 

Cucumbers 81 . 1 

Lettuce 80.5 

Onions 78.9 

Peas, English 74 . 6 

Potatoes, Irish 62 . 6 

Potatoes, sweet 55 . 2 

Spinach 92.3 

Squash 44.2 

Tomatoes 94.3 


Apples 84.6 

Bananas 75 . 3 

Blackberries 86.3 

Figs 79.1 

Grapes 77 . 4 

Lemons 89 . 3 

Olives 67.0 

Oranges 86.9 

Peaches 89.4 

Pears 80.9 

Persimmons (Japanese) 80.2 

Plums 78.4 

Prunes 79.6 

Straw^berries 90 . 4 

Watermelons 92.4 

Protein Fats hydrates Ash Calories 
per ct. per ct. per ct. per ct. to a lb. 


































































































































As shown by the foregoing tables, the pecan has from three 
to four times the caloric value of beef. Experienced stock- 
men have found that 150 pounds of dressed beef is as much 
as each acre of grazing land should be expected to produce 
annually. An acre of pecan trees in full bearing should 
yield, on the average, about six times this number of pounds 
of nuts, or about three times this amount of meats. Thus, 

202 Pecan-Growing 

one acre of pecan trees in full bearing will equal about nine 
acres of grazing land for beef production, so far as food 
nutrients are concerned. After a pecan orchard of suitable 
varieties reaches the bearing age, few crops will yield an 
equal amount of food nutrients with so little expense of 

The fats and carbohydrates of the pecan are the elements 
of food that produce heat and energy. On the other hand, 
the protein, containing nitrogen, is the essential element in 
tissue-building and is necessary for the promotion of health 
and strength in any balanced ration. In studying the nutri- 
tive elements composing foods, dietitians have found that if 
10 per cent of the total ration consumed is protein, the body 
will receive an abundant supply of this material for repairing 
its nitrogenous tissues, the only function for which protein 
is essential. By referring to the table, it will be observed 
that a little more than 10 per cent of the food nutrients of 
the pecan is protein, although it contains very little carbo- 
hydrates. Thus, if the pecan is combined with bread, fresh 
fruits, and vegetables to supply the carbohydrates, the ele- 
ments will be almost in a correct ratio for a balanced ration. 

Beyond the purely chemical food value of the pecan, its 
similarity in composition to certain nuts known to contain 
an abundance of the vitamine B makes it fairly certain that 
the pecan also contains this element so essential in certain 
body processes. Coward and Drummond^ report that the 
walnut, almond, peanut, Brazil nut, and Barcelona nut are 
relatively low in food value as sources of vitamine A; how- 
ever, the pecan nut seems not to have been examined for this 
accessory food factor. 

^ Biochem. Journ. Vol. XIV, No. 5, Oct. 1920. 

utilization of the Pecan 203 

Uric acid arises from the nucleo-proteins and purin bodies 
present in the food and metabolized body tissue. It has long 
been knoAvn that the excretion of nric acid is higher from 
an animal than from a vegetable diet, the fact being ex- 
plained by the larger amount of uric acid-forming material 
contained in the former. An excessive amount of uric acid 
in the system will lead to a derangement of normal body 
processes. Pecans, in this respect, have a decided advantage 
over meats in the diet, since they are practically free from 
purin bodies, which are the uric acid forms in proteins so 
common in meats. 

Under some conditions, the pecan may be substituted for 
meats and constitute an integral part of the menu along with 
bread, vegetables, and fruits. When pecans are eaten at the 
close of an elaborate dinner, however, they are likely to 
cause some discomfort or even distress, as would any other 
highly concentrated food following a superabundant meal. 
For this reason, the belief has been prevalent that the 
pecan is difficult to digest. No trouble need be feared, how- 
ever, when the pecan is consumed as a part of the regular 

Since the pecan is so high in fats, thorough mastication 
is very important. Pecan meats should be masticated suffi- 
ciently to form a smooth paste in the mouth so as properly 
to prepare the mass for the action of the several digestive 
juices. Particles of kernels not masticated are likely to 
pass through the alimentary canal as foreign bodies and not 
digest at all. 


Dowel and Menaul and also Cajori ' found the nitrogen 
^Journ. Biol. Cbem. Vol. 46, Xo. 3, 1921. 

204 Pecan-Growing 

of pecans distributed in such a way as to give the nut a high 
nutritive value as a source of protein. Cajori ^ discovered 
the principal protein of the pecan to be a globulin, and 
reports the distribution of the nitrogen in the pecan globulin 
as follows: 

Per cent 
Amide nitrogen 9.8 

Humin nitrogen 3.6 

Argine nitrogen 22 . 9 

Histidine nitrogen 3.7 

Cystine nitrogen . S 

Lysine nitrogen 6.2 

Monoamino nitrogen 51 . 7 

Non-amino nitrogen 0.8 

Following Friedeman's analyses showing that the integu- 
ment or outside cuticle of the pecan kernel contains a con- 
siderable percentage of tannins, Cajori^ conducted feed- 
ing experiments with rats and secured much more rapid 
growth when the rats ate pecan kernels from which the cuticle 
had been removed, thus furnishing evidence that the tanning 
of the cuticle or integument was a hindrance to the best 
growth of the rats. The protein of the pecan, however, is 
of a very choice character. Some of the earlier investigators 
referred to the protein of nuts as vegetable casein because it 
closely resembled the protein of milk. The amino acids, lysine, 
and cystine, which have been found to be essential to growth, 
are present in relatively large quantities in the pecan. 
Especially is this true for lysine, as shown by the foregoing 

PECAN om, 

The fats of pecans, which are their leading food principle, 

^ Journ. Biol. Chem. Vol. 49, No. 2, 1921. 

^ Journ. Amer. Cbem. Soe. Vol. 42, No. 11, 1920. 

utilization of the Pecart 205 

are among the most digestible of all forms. They have a low 
melting point and are much more readily assimilated by the 
body than are the common animal fats used for human food, 
with the exception of butter. 

The properties of pecan oil '^ are as follows : 

Percentage of kernels of pecan nuts 47 . 

Percentage of oil in the kernels 70 . 4 

Specific gravity of pecan oil at 15 degrees C 0.9184 

Saponification value 198 . 

Iodine absorption of pecan oil 106 . 

Volatile acids (Reichert-Meissl value) 2.2 

' Acetyl value 1 . 16 

Insoluble fatty acids (Heliner value) 93.4 per cent 

Lecthin .5 " 

Cholesterol .28 '' 

Foods containing oils with low melting points are usually 
very palatable ; and, in case of swine at least, where they com- 
pose the bulk of the ration for a considerable time, soft and 
oily flesh is produced. This fact was observed by the soft 
and oily condition of the pork of animals raised on mast and 
shipped to the markets from parts of Arkansas and Texas 
where large forests of pecan trees were growing even before 
the cultivation of the pecan became an industry. 


The pecan is well supplied with proteins and fats, but is 
deficient in its amounts of carbohydrates. For this reason, 
fruits and fresh vegetables, which are low in fats and protein, 
are most excellent supplementary foods to be eaten with 
pecan nuts. The distribution of the carbohydrates in the 
pecan is as f ollow^s : 

^ Deiler ; Amer. Chem. Journ. 43, No. 1, 1909. 

206 Pecan-Growing 

Per cent Per cent 

Total Carbo- Pecan Kernels 

hydrates ^ (Dry Basis) 

Sucrose 9.03 1.18 

Invert sugars 21.90 2.88 

Araban 14.82 1.95 

Methylpentosans 1.68 22 

Cellulose (crude fiber) 14.29 1.76 

Amyloid 4.54 0.59 


Tannins 2.57 0.33 

Hemmlcellulose (dextran, etc.) 31.17 4.09 

Total 100.00 13.00 

The high content of sucrose and invert sugars and the rela- 
tively small amount of cellulose or crude fiber of the pecan 
give the carbohydrates a high dietetic value. However, this 
is offset to some extent by the high percentage of tannins in 
the integuments of the kernels. In preparing foods from 
pecans for invalids and convalescents, it would thus seem ad- 
visable to remove the integuments from the kernels so as to 
eliminate the tannins from the diet. 

Cajori ^ reports that the integuments of pecan meats cannot 
be removed successfully by blanching with hot water as can 
be done with some other nuts. The hot water fails to detach 
the membranous skin from the numerous crevices of the 
wrinkled surfaces of the meats. He found, however, that this 
could be accomplished by using a caustic soda solution. The 
pecan halves are placed in a w^ire basket and dipped into a 
boiling 1 per cent solution of sodium hydroxide and agitated 
for one minute. When removed from the hot sodium hydroxide 
solution, the pecan meats are washed several times with hot 
water as quickly as possible. Immediately following they are 

^ Friedman, Journ. Amer. Chem. Soc. Vol. 42, No. 11, 1920. 
^ Journ. Biol. Chem. Vol. 49, No. 2, 1921. 

Plate XII. — Ahore. catkins or flower clusters of pecan. Below, 
meats of pecans, showing kernel-spot. 

utilization of the Pecan 207 

washed once with a one per cent solution of hydrochloric 
acid and again with hot water. The hydrochloric acid removes 
any traces of the sodium hydroxide. When this process is 
carried to completion as rapidly as possible, the solvent action 
of the alkali, and consequent loss of protein, is restricted to 
the outer layer of the nut halves. This process removes the 
integument or skin of the meats and gives a white non- 
astringent product. 


The increase of America's annual crop of pecans has af- 
forded sufficient quantities for increased uses for culinary 
as well as for dessert purposes. The pecan in its natural or 
raw state is decidedly palatable and appetizing. However, it 
may be made to appeal even more strongly to the average 
palate when properly prepared and combined with other food 
products or cooked in mixtures. The pecan is one of the 
best nuts for culinary purposes, and in most recipes in which 
other nuts are called for, pecans may be substituted. 

The recipes here given were proposed, thoroughly tested, 
and found to be good by such authorities as Mrs. Thos. A. 
Banning, Elizabeth Wilson, Mrs. W. N. Hutt, Mrs. Harriet 
C. North, and Mrs. J. A. Kernodle. They may be followed 
with assurance of good results. 


Pecan Xnt Bread, Xo. 1: 21/2 cups of sifted flour (% graham, 
% white), 3 teaspoons baking-powder (measurements level), % tea- 
spoonful salt, 1% cup sugar, 1 cup pecan kernels broken in pieces, 
1 ^zz, % cup sweet milk, 3 tablespoons of butter. After mixing the 
ingredients, put in greased pan, grease top of loaves, let stand ten 
minutes, and then bake in oven, not too hot, for 40 minutes. This 
amount makes one loaf of bread. 

208 Pecan-Growing 

Pecan Nut Bread, No. 2: 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of water, 1 table- 
spoon of lard, 4 cups of flour, 1 yeast cake, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 
teaspoon salt, 1 cup chopped pecans, % cup lukewarm water, five 
cups whole wheat flour. Scald the water and milk together and 
pour over flour and lard, let cool until medium hot, then add white 
flour. Beat for ten minutes and then add yeast dissolved in the half 
cup of lukewarm water. Cover and let rise until very light. Then 
add the nuts and whole wheat flour, making a soft sticky dough. 
Place dough in buttered bowl and let rise until it gains twice 
original bulk, then form into loaves. Place them in pans, grease 
top, having each half full, let them rise until pans are full. Bake 
for one hour. The above will give enough material for three 

PecoMrDate Bread: To 1 cup of hot cooked oats, add 3 tablespoons 
brown sugar, % teaspoonful salt, 1 tablespoon butter, add i/4 cake 
yeast dissolved in 4 tablespoons lukewarm water and flour to knead. 
Let rise over night. Next morning add % cup each of pecans cut 
in small pieces and of dates cut fine. Shape In loaf, let rise and 
bake in a moderate oven fifty minutes. 


Nut Loaf, No. 1: Chop rather coarsely 1% cups of mixed nuts, 
pecans, hickory, or walnut and almonds, moisten with cream or 
meat stock ; add 3 cups of soft bread crumbs and mix thoroughly 
with the nuts ; season with salt, paprika, and tablespoon chopped 
parsley, and add one beaten egg. Mix all the ingredients well and 
shape into roll, place in baking pan, and baste occasionally with 
stock or hot milk. Cook about one-half hour. 

Nut Loaf, No. 2: One cup of pecan kernels chopped fine, 1% to 2 
cups of bread crumbs, % cup of sweet milk, 1 egg beaten into milk, 
salt to flavor, and a little pepper. Bake % hour or steam % hour. 

Sauce for same : 1 tablespoon butter heated, 1 tablespoon flour 
stirred in juice from one can of tomatoes stirred in while boiling. 
Salt and pepper to taste. When well cooked pour over loaf and 

Nut Croquettes, No. 1: Mix 1 cup of finely chopped pecan kernels 
with 1 cup of dry bread crumbs, add % teaspoonful of salt and % 
teaspoon of paprika, and drop in 1 unbeaten egg and mix all well 
together. If not moist enough to mold, add a little milk or water. 

utilization of the Pecan 209 

Mold in cylinders, roll in egg batter, then in dry bread cnunbs, 
and fry in deep fat. Serve with tomato sauce or lemon juice. 

Pecan Souffle: Boil 1 pint of soft bread crumbs with 1 cup of 
milk and stir until smooth; take vessel from fire and slowly 
stir in 1 cupful of finely chopped pecan kernels, and season to taste 
with salt and pepper; fold in the stiffly beaten w^hites of 5 eggs 
and bake in a quick oven in the dish in which it is to be served. It 
can be baked in twelve to fifteen minutes and must be served while 
hot, or else it loses its lightness. It may be served as a substitute 
for meats. 

Pecan Roast: Take cooked beans or peas, pass through a colander 
to remove the skins, mix with an equal quantity of finely chopped 
pecan kernels, and season to taste. Line an oiled baking dish with 
half the mixture and spread on a dressing made as follows : Take 
4 slices of zwieback, pour over them boiling water and cover ; lei 
stand a few minutes ; then break them up with a fork, add a half 
cup of sweet cream, and add salt and sage to taste. Cover the 
dressing with the remainder of the nut mixture, pour over all % 
cup of cream, and bake for II/2 hours. Serve in slices with cran- 
berry sauce, and garnish with a sprig of green. 


Chicken Salad with Pecans: Marinate 2 cups of chicken cut in 
small pieces, drain, add an equal amount of chopped celery and 1% 
cups of chopped pecans, toss together with two forks, add mayonnaise 
dressing to make sufliciently moist. Serve on crisp lettuce leaves and 
garnish with fringed celery and stuffed olives. 

Lettuce-Pecam Salad: Scatter finely chopped pecan kernels thickly 
over shredded lettuce and serve with French dressing. 

Apple-Pecan-Celery Salad: One cup of chopped apples, 1 cup of 
celery, 1 cup of pecan kernels, 1 cup of raisins. Mix well and pour 
over the salad dressing. 

Fi'uit-Pecan Salad: Soak 1 box of gelatin 5 minutes in cold water, 
add 2 pints of boiling water and 2 cups of sugar, and set to cool. 
In large salad dish have ready 1 can of pineapple, ^2 dozen oranges, 
% dozen bananas and 1 pint of pecan kernels, all cut in small pieces. 
When gelatin is cool, pour over fruit arranged in salad dish. Set 
away to get firm. Grated coconut may be sprinkled over top if 

210 Pecan-Growing 

Prune-Celerp-Pecan Salad: A delicious fruit salad and an inex- 
pensive one is made by soaking prunes overnight and then cutting 
them into small pieces with the scissors and adding diced celery and 
pecan kernels. Mix together with mayonnaise dressing. 

Pineapple-Pecan Salad: One can of sliced pineapple, % cup of 
grated cheese, 1 cup chopped pecan kernels, 1 tablespoon chopped 
parsley, French dressing. Divide sliced pineapple into individual 
dishes, fill hole in center with grated cheese, cover with French 
dressing, and sprinkle over with chopped nuts and parsley. 

Pecan Salad: Four tart apples peeled and cut into small dice; 2 
cups celery chopped fine, 2 cups pecan kernels; mix and pour over 
the mixture dressing made as follows : 1 cup of good vinegar, 1 
tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, pinch of salt and pepper to 
taste, the yolks of 2 eggs. Put the vinegar in saucepan with % cup 
of water, add the butter and sugar, beat the yolks well and stir in 
quickly, removing from the fire before they curdle, and pour hot 
over the salad. Serve cold. 

Pecwru Cheese Balls: Grate or pass through a food cutter remnants 
of cheese ; if dry, moisten with melted butter or cream. Mix with 
an equal quantity of finely chopped pecan kernels and half quantity 
of chopped candied cherries. Mold into balls, press whole nut meat 
on top. Serve in nest of lettuce leaves with salad dressing. 

Pecan and Grapefruit Salad: Two large grapefruit, peeled and 
cut in quarters, 1 cup pecan kernels. Serve grapefruit and nuts 
on lettuce leaves with mayonnaise dressing. Garnish with Malaga 

Baked Apples ivith Pecans: Take 6 large apples, 1% cups of pecan 
kernels, and 1 tablespoon sugar for each apple. Chop the pecans fine 
and add to the sugar. Core apples, fill the cavities with the sugar 
and kernels, and place them in a dripping pan not too close. Pour 
a cup of boiling water into the pan and bake in a quick oven untO 
the apples are tender but not broken. 


Prune Float: One pound of French prunes well cooked. Remove 
pits and add 1 pint of cream whipped stiff and % cup of pecan 
kernels chopped fine. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve. 

Marshmallow-Pecan Cream: Cut up % pound of marshmallows ; 
whip 1 cup of thick sweet cream ; chop 1 cup of pecan kernels and 

utilization of the Pecan 211 

mix all together ; put in a bowl and set on ice. This is better if made 
several hours before serving. 

Pecan Cha/t^lotte: One pint of cream, ^ box of gelatine, % cup 
powdered sugar, % cup pecan kernels, finely chopped. Cover the 
gelatine with % cup of cold water and soak until soft, then dissolve 
over hot water. Whip the cream and sprinkle over it the sugar. 
Add 4 tablespoons of milk to the dissolved gelatin and strain into 
the whipped cream. Add the nuts, mixing it lightly. Stand the bowl 
in a pan of ice w^ater and stir carefully from bottom and sides 
until the mixture begins to thicken, then turn at once into a mold 
lined with lady fingers, and stand in a cool place to harden. 

Nougat Ice-Cream: Three cups of milk, 1 cup sugar, yolks of 5 
eggs, pinch of salt, 1% cups of heavy cream, w^hites 5 eggs, l^ cup 
each of pecans, filberts, and almond kernels, 1 teaspoon each of 
almond and vanilla flavoring. Make custard of first four ingredients ; 
strain and cool. Add heavy cream beaten stiff, whites of eggs beaten 
stiff, nut meats finely chopped, flavoring ; then freeze. 

Pecan Ice-Creani: Make plain ice-cream by any desired recipe. 
When partly frozen, stir in 1 cup of finely chopped pecans to every 
quart of ice-cream. Be sure that none of the shell or dividing tissue 
adheres to the nut pieces. 


PecQjfi Cookies, No. 1: One cup of brown sugar, % cup strained 
honey, % cup butter, 2 eggs, ^2 cup of milk, Y2 pound good pecans 
ground fine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking-powder, and 
enough flour to make a dough soft enough to handle. Cream the 
butter and sugar together, add the eggs one at a time, mix well 
and add the honey and vanilla extract, then add the nuts and 
milk and the baking-powder sifted into 1 cup of flour. Add enough 
flour to make dough that can be rolled out. Chill and cut into 
diamond shapes. Bake in brisk oven. The cookies will be better 
when kept a few days. 

Pecan Cookies, No. 2: Beat 4 eggs very light, add % cup of sugar 
and beat again. Sift about 2 cups of flour with % teaspoon each of 
salt and baking-powder. Mix l^/^ cups of chopped pecans with the 
flour mixture and stir into the eggs and sugar. Drop by teaspoonfuls 
on greased and floured pans. Place % pecan on each and bake 

Oatmeal-Pecan Cookies, No. 3: Two cups of oatmeal, 2 cups of 

212 Pecan-Growing 

flour, 1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of pecans, 1 cup lard and butter 'mixed, 
1 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons sweet milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, % 
teaspoon soda, % teaspoon salt, 2 eggs. Chop raisins and nuts fine, 
beat the eggs, stir all together, then pour in tablespoonfuls on a 
buttered pan. Do not place spoonfuls too near together. 

Pecan Wafe7^s: To 3 cups brown sugar, add 1 cup lard, 1 cup hot 
water in which dissolve 1 teaspoon soda, pinch of salt, and flour 
enough to make a soft dough and roll thin. Sprinkle plentifully 
with coarsely chopped pecan kernels, and bake in a quick oven. 

Chocolate Pecan Wafers: Mix in order given: 1 cup sugar, 2 
squares chocolate, % cup melted butter, yolk and whites of 2 eggs 
beaten separately and then together, % cup of flour. Spread very 
thinly over cooking sheet and sprinkle on it 1 cup coarsely chopped 
pecan kernels. Bake not too brown. Cut in oblongs and remove. 

Pecan Kisses: To white of 1 egg well beaten, add 10 teaspoons of 
pulverized sugar and 1 tablespoon brandy, or flavor with vanilla, a 
little ground cinnamon, and cloves ; then add a cupful of pecan 
kernels chopped flne. Put tablespoonful of mixture on buttered paper 
on bottom side of pie pan, and bake ten minutes in a moderate 
oven. This makes one dozen. 


Pecan Loaf Cake: Take ll^ cups of sugar, % cup butter, 
% cup water, 3 cups flower, whites 5 eggs, 3 teaspoons baking-powder, 
1 cup pecan kernels, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cream butter and add sugar, 
sift flour and baking-powder, and add this and the water to the 
creamed sugar and butter. Stir well. Add nuts and vanilla. Fold in 
beaten whites and bake in a loaf. 

Lady Baltimore Cake: One cupful butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups 
flour, 1 cup sweet milk, whites 8 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking-powder; 
flavor with vanilla or rose water and bake in layers. Filling : Dis- 
solve 2 cups sugar w^ith 1 cup w^ater and boil until it threads. Pour 
over the stiffly beaten whites of 3 eggs and add 1 cup raisins, 1 
cup flgs, and 1 cup pecans. Chop all together and lay between the 

Pecan Layer Cake: Take % cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, a cup 
milk, 2% cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking-powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 
1 cup chopped pecans. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, and 
milk and flour alternately, adding the pecan kernels mixed with the 
last % cup flour. Flavor and bake in layers about an inch in thick- 

utilization of the Pecan 213 

ness. Filling : Take 2 cups granulated sugar and % cup rich milk, 
1 cup pecan kernels. Cook milk and sugar to soft ball stage, beat 
until creamy, add nuts and flavoring, and when cool enough spread 
on cake. 

Pecan Boiled Icing: Two cups granulated sugar, % cup water, 
whites 2 eggs, 1 cup pecan kernels, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Boil sugar 
and water to soft ball stage, then pour on beaten whites of eggs, 
add flavoring and nuts, and beat until cool ; then spread on cake. 


Pecan Pralines: Take 1 pound of brown sugar, % pound pecan 
kernels, a tablespoon water. Cook sugar and water, stirring con- 
stantly, until it spins threads when poured from spoon. Then pour 
over little piles or heaps of pecan kernels arranged over a greased 
marble slab. 

Pecan Fudge: Three cups brown sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon 
butter, 1 cup chopped pecans. Boil sugar and milk until the mixture 
will harden when dropped in a cup of cold water; add butter and 
nuts; then boil 4 minutes longer, beat until creamy, and pour into 
buttered tins. 

Pecan Balls: Take all the broken pieces of nut kernels, chop 
them up, mix with fondant, and roll into balls. When dry dip into 
melted chocolate. 

Pecan Chocolate Fudge: Two cups sugar, 1 cup milk, % cup 
cocoa, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup pecan kernels. 
Boil without stirring until the soft ball stage, then add vanilla and 
nuts, and beat until almost hard. Pour on greased tins and cut into 

Pecan Divinity Fudge: Two cups sugar, % cup cold water, i/^ cup 
corn sirup, whites of 2 eggs, 1 cup chopped pecan kernels. Boil 
sugar, water and sirup until the soft ball stage is reached, then 
pour the mixture on the whites of eggs, beaten stiff, then add nuts 
and beat until cool. Pour into a deep buttered pan and cut in 
squares when hard. 

Pecan Balls: Take % cup water, 1 cup sugar, % cup white karo 
sirup, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cook until sirup threads well, drop in 
pecans, make into balls. 

Frosted Pecans: Take % cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water. Let cook 
until it ropes, add 1 cup pecans, stir until pecans are all frosted. 

214 Pecan-Growing 

Pecan Stuffed Dates: Remove seed from any desired quantity of 
dates. Insert in cavity half of a pecan kernel and roll the date in 
granulated sugar. 


Pecan Fruit Filling: Run cup of pecan kernels and cup of raisins 
or dried figs or dates through the food chopper together. Flavor 
with a little lemon juice and spread between slices of bread. 


Pecan Pie: Take 5 eggs, 1 cup molasses, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons 
of flour, 1 cup pecans, 2 teaspoons butter. Beat the eggs light, add 
sugar, flour, molasses, butter and pecans. This makes two pies. 



The pecan is a hickory, one of the Juglandacese or Walnut 
family. A half dozen genera comprise the family, of which 
the walnut and the hickories are represented in North Amer- 
ica, the other genera being Asian and one Central American. 
With the exception of a recently discovered species in China, 
all the hickories are native from Canada to the highlands of 
Mexico. Seventeen species are now recognized. 

At first the hickories were included in the genus Juglans, 
with walnuts. Linnaus, the founder of modern botanical 
nomenclature, included three species of Juglans in his 
''Species Plantarum, '' 1753, — the historic Old World walnut. 
Juglans regia, the American black walnut, J. nigray and one 
of the hickories, /. alha. He did not know the pecan. In 1785 
Humphrey Marshall, in his work on American trees, recog- 
nized the pecan and named it Juglans Pecan; and as Pecan 
is the first specific botanical name to be regularly applied to 
the plant it must hold in whatever genus the hickories may 
subsequently be placed. The pecan was published as Juglans 
illinoensis by Wangenheim in 1787, as /. angustifolia by 
Alton in 1789, and as /. cylindrica by Poiret in 1797. These 
names are now synonyms, but they are worth record as indi- 
cating interesting stages in the technical recognition of the 
pecan as a distinct species (see page 16). 


216 Pecan-Growing 

All botanists agree that the hickories should be separated 
botanically from the walnuts. In 1818, Nuttall founded the 
genus Carya, using the ancient Greek name for the walnut. 
The pecan he called Carya olivoeformis, bringing down the 
name from Michaux's Juglans olivcefonnis (1803), the appel- 
lation being given in allusion to the olive-shaped fruit. But 
under all current rules of nomenclature the older name Pecan 
must displace olivceformis, and the combination becomes Carya 

In 1838, Eafinesque published the name Hicoria for the 
genus, adopting the American Indian name of these trees, 
although he did not publish any species. In 1817, he had used 
Hicorius, and in 1808 the name Scoria. The word Scoria is 
apparently an error and Hicoria was undoubtedly intended. 
Under the genus Hicoria, the pecan becomes H. Pecan, 

So it comes that the hickory genus is called Carya by some 
botanists and Hicoria by others. In the lists adopted by the 
International Botanical Congress held in Vienna, in 1905, 
the names of Rafinesque are rejected and Carya adopted. This 
practice is followed by European authors in writing of these 
American plants (Schneider in his standard ^^Handbuch der 
Laubholzkunde" used Hicoria in the body of the book, but 
changed it to Carya in the addendum to the same volume), 
and in this country by the Gray Herbarium of Harvard 
University, as in Gray's Manual, latterly by the Arnold 
Arboretum of Harvard University, as in the current edition 
of Sargent's ^^ Manual of the Trees of North America" and 
Eehder in Bailey's '* Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture," 
by Bailey in his ^^ Manual of Cultivated Plants," and by 
others. To them the pecan is Carya Pecan, this combination 
having been made by Ascherson and Grsebner in 1910. The 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 217 

other name, Hicoria, is used by the New York Botanical 
Garden, as in Britton's Manual and his ''Trees of North 
America,'' in Britton and Brown's ''Illustrated Flora of the 
Northern States and Canada," in Small's "Flora of the 
Southeastern United States," by the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, by the recent "Standardized Plant 
Names, ' ' and by others. To them the pecan is Hicoria Pecan, 
this combination of names having been made by Britton, in 
1888, although Sargent used the name Hicorius Pecan, in 1889. 

The genus Hicoria or Carya is divided into two groups, Pa- 
cania, the "open bud" hickories in which the winter bud- 
scales do not cover the tiny leaf forms completely, and Euhico- 
ria, the "closed bud" hickories, in which stout scales com- 
pletely close the buds in winter. The pecan tree belongs in 
the "open bud" group of hickories. Its relation to the 
other common hickories as w^ell as to the native walnuts is 
shown in the accompanying chart (see page 218). 

All the Juglandacese are aromatic trees with scaly buds and 
compound unequally pinnate leaves, the leaflets increasing in 
size from the lowest upwards. The flowers are monoecious, 
opening after the unfolding of the leaves, and are on the pre- 
vious season's growth; the staminate flowers in long slender 
catkins composed of a 3- to 6-lobed calyx, adnate to an acute 
bract, with numerous stamens inserted on the inner and 
lower face of the calyx in two or several rows, with short 
distinct filaments and oblong anthers opening longitudinally ; 
the pistillate flowers in a terminal spike on the branch of the 
current season's growth, composed of a 1- to 3-celled ovary, 
a 1- or 4-lobed calyx inserted on the ovary, a short style with 
2 stigmas, stigmatic on the inner face, and a solitary erect 
ovule. The fruit is a nut inclosed in an indehiscent or 4- 


k» o 

O ^ 

o o 

•in «} 

^ O 

ovata (Shagbark Hickory) 

laciniosa (Bottom Shellbark Hickory) 

mexicana (Mexican Hickory) 

alba (^\Tiite Hickory) 

glabra (Pignut Hickory) 

'^ '^ 

minima (Bitternut Hickory) 

C3 ;h 


aquatica (Water Hickory) 

myristicspformis (Nutmeg Hickory) 

c3 o 

Pecan (the Pecan Nut) 

chinensis (Chinese Hickory) 

regia (European Walnut) 

cinerea (Butternut) 

rupestris (Southwestern Walnut) 

nigra (Black Walnut) 

calif ornica (California Walnut) 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 219 

valved husk; seed solitary, 2-lobed from the apex nearly to 
the middle ; cotyledons fleshy and oily, 2-lobed ; radicle short, 
superior, filling the apex of the nut. 

The characteristic marks of the genus Hicoria (or Carya, 
if one prefers that name) in contrast with those of Juglans 
are long slender long-stalked three-branched catkins, instead 
of single sessile or short-stalked catkins; husk of the fruit 
dehiscent by 4 valves rather than indehiscent as in Juglans; 
nuts not sculptured, and the pith of the branches solid instead 
of being in plates or layers. The staminate flowers of the 
hickories have the calyx 2- or rarely 3-lobed with from 3 to 
10 stamens ; the pistillate flowers, sessile, in 2- to 10-flowered 
spikes, with calyx 4-lobed, and short stout stigmas (see 
Fig. 33). 

The pecan, Hicoria Pecan, is the largest of all the hickories 
and one of the largest trees of the forest. The trunk, like 
that of the shagbark hickory, Hicoria ovata and H. laciniosa, 
is very high, often measuring more than 50 feet and occasion- 
ally 80 or 90 feet to the first limb. Its bark is thick, light 
brown tinged with red, and deeply and irregularly divided 
into narrow forked ridges broken on the surface into thick 
appressed scales. The pecan differs from the other hickories 
in the fact that its catkins are produced from buds in pairs — 
one on either side of a lateral leaf -bud — of the previous sea- 
son's growth; while the other hickories produce catkins from 
near the base of the terminal bud, or on the new growth 
near its base. The fruit of the pecan is in clusters of 2 to 8, 
pointed, 4-ridged and angled, from 1 inch to 2i/2 inches long 
and from % to 1 inch broad, dark brown with a thin, hard, 
and brittle husk splitting at maturity nearly to the base and 
often persistent on the branch during the winter after the 



Figure 33. — Twig specimens of the pecan, a, Male flowers 
or catkin on one-year old wood ; h, female flowers at terminal 
of new growth ; e, pistillate flower in receptive stage ; ch pis- 
tillate flower past receptive stage; e, enlarged staminate flower. 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 221 

discharge of the nut ; nut ovoid, nearly cylindrical or slightly 
4-angled toward the pointed apex, bright reddish-brown, 
with irregular black markings, from 1 to 2 inches long, with 
brittle walls and papery partitions. The seed or kernel 
is sweet, reddish-brown, its nearly flat lobes furrowed 
from near the base to the apex by two deep longitudinal 

The wood of Hicoria Pecan is heavy, hard, not very strong, 
brittle and close-grained, with numerous thin medullary rays 
and bands of one or two rows of large open ducts marking 
the layers of annual growth. It is light brown tinged with 
red, with thin lighter brown sapwood. The specific gravity 
of the absolutely dry wood is 0.7180, a cubic foot weighing 
44.75 pounds. It is less valuable than the wood of most 
of the other species of hickory. It makes excellent fuel and 
is now occasionally used in the manufacture of wagons and 
agricultural implements. 


The Gulf Coast varieties are adapted to the southern pecan 
belt. In this group the planter has a long list from which 
to choose. The really meritorious varieties, however, adapted 
to a large part of the southern belt are comparatively few. 
Those which have withstood best the exactions of the grower 
and of the trade for a considerable time are the Schley, 
Stuart, Alley, Pabst, and Success. To this list might be 
added Moneymaker, Moore, Brooks, and Bradley. The last 
four varieties are very prolific. The trees come into bearing 
while young and the nuts ripen early in the fall, enabling the 
grower to catch the early trade. Other varieties that give 
satisfaction in the different sections of the southern pecan 

222 Pecan-Growing 

belt are the Frotscher, President, Curtis, VanDeman, Teche, 
Delmas, and Mobile. 

In the western belt, those varieties that have gained most 
favor are the Texas Prolific, Burkett, Halbert, Onliwon, Oliver, 
and San Saba. 

For the middle belt, which borders the southern on the 
north, and for the northern belt, the following are recom- 
mended: Greenriver, Kentucky, Warrick, Major, Busseron, 
Butterick, Indiana, Niblack, and Posey/ 

Alley. — Originated from planted seed of unknown origin, in Jack- 
son County, Mississippi, in 1871. Widely disseminated and recom- 
mended for South Atlantic and Gulf states. Nut medium-sized, 
short, very plump, smooth, medium color with black markings 
toward the apex, very attractive ; medium filler, thin shell, rich 
plump kernel, easily shelled, good quality, and excellent for candies 
because of the readiness with which it cracks into halves. Tree 
upright, round-headed, regular ; prolific, vigorous, moderately early 
bearer, medium hardy ; slightly subject to scab. 

Bradley. — A supposed seedling of Frotscher, from Baker County, 
Florida. Fairly promising for southern part of pecan belt ; does 
well also in section through middle Georgia and Alabama. Nut 
below medium size, ovate-oblong, with blunt point at either end, 
hard shell of average thickness, easily shelled and well filled ; kernel 
plump, rich and attractive. Tree rather slender and not symmetrical ; 
a very early and prolific bearer; not seriously attacked by insects 
and diseases. 

Brooks. — Introduced from southwest Georgia recently. Not yet 
extensively planted but has done well where tested. Nut medium 
sized, fairly thin-shelled, and well filled. 

Burkett. — Introduced from Callahan County, Texas ; of compara- 
tively recent origin but has done especially well in the western or 
semi-arid sections of the pecan belt. Its plantings are becoming 
more extensive in the West. Nut medium to large size, oval, thin- 
shelled ; kernel plump and of excellent flavor. The tree is precocious 
and productive. 

^ See Chapter I. 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 223 

Busseron. — From Knox County, Indiana ; a nut adapted to the 
northern pecan territory. It is a rather old variety of the better 
grade of pecans but has not been disseminated in the South and 
probably will not be. It closely resembles some of the best northern 
varieties and is doubtless the parent of some of them. 

Curiis. — From Alachua County, Florida. This Is one of the most 
promising nuts of the Florida district, but not recommended north 
of that section. Used extensively in crackeries. Xut small, thin- 
shelled, easily cracked, pointed at ends, and attractive: kernel 
plump, very rich and sweet. Tree symmetrical and graceful, a slow 
grower and late coming into bearing, but thereafter very produc- 

Delmas. — Originated in Jackson County, Mississippi; widely dis- 
seminated and among the most desirable of all nuts, except for its 
susceptibility to the scab for which reason it has been eliminated 
from plantings in many sections. It is a very desirable nut on the 
market. Xut very large, of a rich nutty-brown color, attractive, 
thin-shelled, and of good cracking quality ; kernel plump, rich, and 
of a very pleasing flavor. Xuts mature late. Tree symmetrical, pro- 
ductive, prolific, but very susceptible to scab. 

Frotscher. — From Iberia Parish. Louisiana, one of the oldest and 
best known of the modern varieties, widely disseminated, popular 
in southern Georgia, and parts of Louisiana. This variety is very 
sensitive to local conditions and is slow to be recommended ; often 
it is reported as a shy bearer. It is losing favor in comparison with 
the best late varieties. Xut of large size, thin shell, showy and very 
attractive, among the best in cracking quality ; kernel not attractive, 
fairly plump, often dark colored, flavor fair, quality fair. Tree a 
rapid grower, unsymmetrical, inclined to form forks which split 
badly, wood very brash, large limbs often breaking under strain 
of winds and fruit. Rather resistant to attacks of insects and 

Greenriver. — A northern variety that originated in Henderson 
County, Kentucky. It is hardy and one of the most promising 
northern sorts. Its propagation began about 1915. X^ut sub-medium 
in size, shell fairly thick ; kernel plump, quality good, flavor rich ; 
an excellent nut for domestic use. 

Halhert. — From Coleman County, Texas, widely disseminated 
through the western part of the pecan belt. In habit of growth 
and character of parent tree, it is typical for western Texas, but 

224 Pecan-Growing 

is not adapted to the more humid climates because of its tendency 
to scab. In ratio of kernel to hull, the Halbert ranks among the 
highest. Excellent for table cracking, though not suitable for com- 
mercial crackeries. Nut small-sized, very thin-shelled and plump; 
kernels very plump, of rich quality and excellent flavor. Tree very 
precocious and prolific, but severely attacked by scab when planted 
east of Texas. One of the very best varieties for west Texas. 

Hollis. — One of the oldest of the Texas varieties, but neither widely 
disseminated nor well known, owing to the universal susceptibility 
of west Texas varieties to scab in the more humid climates. This 
variety is recommended only for central and western Texas plant- 
ing, and for regions of similar climatic conditions. Nuts of medium 
to large size and attractive appearance, thick-shelled, plump-meated 
and of good quality. 

Increase. — A southwest Georgia variety that is limited in the 
extent of planting, being confined almost to the immediate place of 
origin. Nut of medium size, fairly thick-shelled, tending toward 
spherical shape, promising. 

Indiana. — From Knox County, Indiana, a strictly northern variety. 
It is considered hard to propagate, but is highly promising for 
planting in the northern belt. Nut of medium size, thin-shelled and 
of excellent cracking quality ; kernel fairly plump, flavor sweet. 
The tree is symmetrical and a heavy bearer. 

James. — From Madis(3n Parish, Louisiana ; not widely disseminate-d, 
but promising for planting in the northern range of the southern 
pecans. Nut medium sized, thin shell, of excellent cracking qualities, 
often poorly filled ; kernel rich in quality and of sweet flavor. Tree 
very prolific, often over-productive ; subject to severe attacks of 
scab in the lower sections of the southern belt. 

Kincaid. — From San Saba County, Texas ; well disseminated in 
central and western Texas ; especially recommended for western 
Texas, and one of the standard varieties for that section. Because 
of its susceptibility to scab, it is to be avoided in all sections east 
of middle Texas. Nut large in size, attractive in appearance, with 
fairly thin shell, and of fair cracking qualities ; kernel plrmip, of very 
good quality, flavor sweet, tree a thrifty grower, symmetrical, very 
prolific ; highly susceptible to scab in eastern Texas and the Gulf 

Major. — From Henderson County, Kentucky ; not broadly dis- 
seminated; especially promising for planting in the middle pecan 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 225 

belt. Xut below medium in size, shell thin ; kernel unusnally plump, 
quality good, flavor excellent. 

Mantiira. — From Surry County, Virginia; considered promising 
for the middle pecan belt ; not highly recommended anywhere. Xut 
above medium size, thin-shelled, cylindrical and pointed at apex, 
but blunt at base; kernel not always plump at tip, often shrunken, 
quality and flavor good. Tree moderately vigorous, fairly prolific, 
comparatively free from disease and insect pests. 

Mobile. — From Mobile County, Alabama ; well disseminated, especi- 
ally in southwest Georgia. The variety is generally objectionable 
after the second or third crop on account of the great percentage 
of defective kernels. Though it is profitable locally, extensive plant- 
ings are not recommended. Xut above medium size, typical color, 
irregular in outline, not smooth, largest near apex, tapering toward 
base, suddenly forming a blunt point, the apex is distinctly pointed 
but flat, not attractive, fairly thin-shelled, of good cracking qualities; 
kernels on young trees usually plump, but on old trees invariably 
poorly developed. Tree upright, compact, slender, a rapid grower 
and inclined to be unsymmetrical, a very early and prolific bearer. 
Tree breaks easily under a heavy load of fruit. 

Moneymaker. — From Madison Parish, Louisiana; widely dis- 
seminated, and especially adapted to the northern range of the area 
suitable for southern varieties. It is a leader in range of adaptabil- 
ity, productiveness, and early maturity of nuts. X'uts of medium 
size, spherical at base, slightly elongated and smaller toward the 
apex, making an egg shape except for two slight depressions on 
opposite sides of the apex ; fairly attractive in appearance, somewhat 
thick-shelled, though cracks easily ; kernel fairly plump, quality me- 
diimi, of pleasant flavor. Tree open and spreading, a thrifty grower, 
symmetrical, precocious and prolific. 

Moore (synonyms: Long Moore, Moore X'o. 1, Moore X'^o. 2). — 
Originated in Jefferson County, Florida, and well suited to northern 
Florida ; disseminated in many sections and usually favorably con- 
sidered. It is very desirable on account of its early bearing habit 
and its prolificacy. Xut below medium in size, long, cylindrical, 
smooth, symmetrical, with blunt point at base and four-cornered 
blunt point at apex, shell of average thickness, of fair cracking 
qualities ; kernel plump, with pleasing quality. Tree moderately 
hardy, unusually productive, and one of the earliest to mature the 

226 Pecan-Growing 

Nihlaclc. — From Knox County, Indiana, in 1913; an exclusively 
northern variety which has much promise, though not widely dis- 
seminated as yet. Nut below medium size, shell moderately thick, 
cracking qualities excellent; kernel plump, somewhat dry, quality 
good, flavor very pleasant. Tree hardy, very productive. 

Oliver. — A western variety from Junction, Kimble County, Texas; 
considered to be of special promise for central and western Texas 
plantings. Nut large, uniform, thick-shelled, and usually plum]> 

Pahst. — A very old variety from Jackson County, Mississippi, that 
still holds a prime place among southern growers. It is widely 
disseminated, well known, much favored, and extensively recom- 
mended. It was slow in gaining popularity because of its lateness 
in coming into bearing ; however, its uniformity in performance 
and its prolificacy when given a fair chance, together with its re- 
sistance to disease and insects, render it highly profitable. Nut 
large, oblong, oval at each end, apical and slightly smaller, wath 
two depressions on opposite sides, attractive in appearance, shell of 
medium thickness, cracking readily ; kernel plump, of high quality 
and pleasing flavor. Tree open, spreading, stout, vigorous, strong 
grower, and comes into bearing late. 

Posey. — From Gibson County, Indiana, in recent years. It is prob- 
ably the easiest to crack of all the northern varieties, and is prom- 
ising for commercial plantings. Nut medium in size, shell thin, 
cracking qualities excellent ; kernel plump, quality rich and pleasant 
in flavor. 

President. — Originated in Duval County, Florida ; well disseminated 
in northern Florida ; productive in local sections of Florida, but a 
shy bearer in central and northern Georgia. It cannot be recom- 
mended for extensive plantings. Nut medium in size, obovate, with 
point at either end, symmetrical, shell of medium thickness, attrac- 
tive ; kernel plump, rich and of good flavor. Tree fairly thrifty, 
moderately hardy, but a shy bearer. 

Ban Saha. — A west Texas variety from San Saba County; it is 
especially adapted to western Texas ; an excellent nut for the table, 
but not desirable for commercial crackeries, being too small and 
too plump to crack successfully with machinery. Nut small in 
size, oblong, smooth, very plump, rounded at the basal end, and 
blunt pointed at the apex, shell unusually thin; kernel very plump, 

Botanical Classification and Varieties of the Pecan 227 

and exceedingly rich. Tree close, dense-headed, somewhat upright 
in habit, a moderate grower but very prolific. 

Schley. — Introduced from Jackson County, Mississippi; it has 
become one of the most widely disseminated and best known of all 
pecans. It is one of the most popular varieties and is the standard 
of excellence. It is one of the richest in oil-content, one-half nut 
containing sufficient oil to support a flame for eleven minutes when 
lighted on one end. Nut above medium size, oblong, obovate, irregu- 
lar in outline, two broad depressions on opposite sides near the 
base, which is blunt pointed, the apex sharp-pointed and flat, shell 
very thin, brittle sometimes cracking while on the tree, kernels 
plump, very firm, unusually rich, of fine texture and excellent flavor. 
Tree upright, round-topped, regular, moderately prolific, vigorous, 
fairly early bearer, often variable in size and bearing qualities, sub- 
ject to scab in southern sections. 

Sovereign (synonym: Texas Prolific). — A variety from western 
Texas ; originated in San Saba County, seedling of the San Saba. 
It is well known and highly favored in west Texas, where it is a 
standard. It is not adapted to the eastern sections. Nut large, long, 
enlarged towards apex, sharp apex, bright colored, attractive in ap- 
pearance, thin-shelled, cracking qualities poor ; kernel plump, rich, 
and medium in flavor. Tree slow grower, but very precocious and 

Stuart. — Another very popular sort from Jackson County, Missis- 
sippi. It is more extensively planted than any other variety, and 
has succeeded in nearly all the southern belt. Nut above medium 
size, oblong, slightly obovate, symmetrical, very plump and attrac- 
tive, well filled, shell rather thick, cracking quality poor ; kernel 
medium plump, usually breaking into crumbs while being taken 
from the shell, quality medium and flavor pleasant. Tree upright, 
close-headed and tending to slender, moderately vigorous, comes 
into bearing rather late, prolific. Stuart w^ill always produce some 
kind of a crop of nuts. It is markedly resistant to disease, though 
attacked by insects. 

Success. — A nut from Jackson County, Mississippi, of more recent 
introduction than the Stuart. It is widely known and recommended 
in most pecan sections of the South, doing especially well when 
grown on a fertile soil. Nut large, ovate, spherical toward base, but 
extending to a blunt flat point at apex, very plump, shell moderately 

228 Pecan-Growing 

thin, attractive, plump-meated ; kernel clean, bright-colored, smooth, 
rich, and of very pleasant flavor. Tree vigorous, symmetrical, and 
early bearer, usually prolific. It is sensitive to poor soil. 

Teche. — Introduced with the Frotscher variety, supposedly from 
Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Regarded as inferior to Frotscher because 
of its inferior kernel characters and frequent defective or black 
kernels. It is little better than many seedlings of Louisiana. The 
variety is widely disseminated. 

VanDeman. — From St. James Parish, Louisiana ; a widely dis 
seminated variety, and one of the oldest and best known. This 
variety requires very favorable conditions or it will succumb to the 
scab ; otherw^ise, it is broadly and extensively recommended. Nut 
of large size, long, obovate, blunt point at base and acute at apex, 
smooth and symmetrical, shell of medium thickness, attractive, 
moderate cracking qualities ; kernel bright colored, of high quality 
and excellent flavor. Tree symmetrical, handsome, sporatic bearer ; 
comes into fruit tardily. 

Venus, — Resulted from a cross between San Saba and Atwater at 
San Saba, Texas. Little known outside of place of origin. 

Warrick. — From Warrick County, Indiana ; a fairly promising 
variety for the northern part of the middle belt; not widely known. 
It is not recommended for southern planting. Nut below medium, 
shell moderately thin ; kernel usually plump, quality rich, flavor 
excellent. Tree hardy and prolific. 

Waukeenah (synonyms: Round Moore, No. 1, Moore No. 2). — 
Originated in Jefferson County, Florida. Adapted to central and 
northern Florida, and generally well known in those sections. Nut 
of small size, shell of average thickness, kernel commonly shrunken, 
quality below medium, flavor fair. Tree very prolific, and one of 
the earliest to mature the nuts. 


Acid phosphate, for pecans, S3 

Acid soils, 76, 77 

Acrohasis nehuleUa, 162 
hehesceVa, 165 

Agreement, marlveting form, 155 

Alluvial soils, 80, 81 

Altitude, influence of, 7 

Analyses : fertilizer materials. 89 
of food materials, 200, 201 
of nuts, 199 

Anthracnose, 191 

Arsenate of lead, for case-bearer, 

Associations, Pecan Growers, 
Ga.-Fla., 23 
annual meetings, 154 
marketing, 146, 147, 148 
Texas Pecan Growers', 24 

Bacterium tumefacieus, 193 
Bags, for handling pecans. 125 
Balmiinus carijcp, 172 
Barrels, shipment in. 125 
Bark-grafting, 46, 63 

cion for, 63 

advantages of, 66 

method of. 63, 64 

staking, 64. 65 

stock for, 63 
Bark-slot grafting, 66 

modification of, 66, 67 
Belts, pecan middle, 4 

northern, 5 

southern, 3 

western, 6 
Black-pit, 193 
Blanching pecans, 143 
Blight, nursery, 189 
Bordeaux mixture, injury from, 

for blight, 190 

for leaf-spot, 191 

Bordeaux mixture, for powdery 

mildew, 191 
Borers, 177 

Botany of pecans, 215 
Botnjosixcria herengeriana, 188 
Breads, pecan, 207 
Breeding by crossing, 30 
Buckshot land, 80 
Budding, patch, 51 

ring. 50, 51 

tools. 70, 71 
Bud. moth, 168 

formation, 52 

wood, 53, 54 

shipping, 69, 70 
Burr clover, for cover-crop, 87 

Cajori, 204, 206, 216, 218 
Cakes, pecan, 212 
Calomb, propagates pecans, 17 
Calories, in nuts, 199 

in food, 200, 201 
Candies, pecan, 212 
Carbohydrates, in pecans, 205, 206 
Carya, 216, 218 
Case-bearer, cigar, 173 

leaf. 162, 165 

nut, 162 
Cassula magnifica, 177 
Caterpillar, 174, 175 
Catkins, pecan, 99 

disease, 192 

hickory, 219 
Cecil soils, 81 

Centennial variety, origin, 28 
Cercospora fusca, 190 
Charlevoix, Xavier, 14 
Chip bud, advantages, 63 

forcing, 62 

season. 60 

staking, 62 

stock for, 60 



Chrysohothris femorata. 111 
Cions, number to use, 50 
Claremout variety, origin, 28 
Clasterosporium diffusum, 190 
CJeophora carycefolieUa, 173 
Cold weather, winter-injury, 195 
Commercial planting, first, 18 
Commodity, organization. 149 
Contract, membership, 151, 155 
Cookies. 211 
Cooperative marketing, 140, 147, 

Cost of shelling, 141 
Cover-crops, 83, 84, 85, 80, 88, 91, 

107, 118 
Crackeries, commercial, 138 
Crackers, pecan, 140 
Cracking, soaking for. 139 
test, 128 

machines, 138, 140, 141 
Cropping the orchard, 115, 110, 

118, 119 
Crown-gall, 193 
Cuticle, removing, 206 
Cultivating, pecans, 115, 110. 117, 

120. 121 
Cutting back, for top-working. 44 
for bark-grafting, 40 

Da tana integerrima, 174 

DeCourset, Diary mentions pe- 
cans, 15 

Delmas variety, record yields of, 

Dependable variety, origin, 30 

Desserts, pecan, 210, 211 

De Soto, 13 

Dieback, 188 * 

Distance, to plant nuts. 39 
to plant trees, 110. 112. 120 

Dominance of male in crosses, 30 

Drainage, of soils. 77 

Drying pecans, 124 

Dynamite for trees, 113 

Energy values, 199 
Equipment, budding and grafting, 
70. 71 
spraying, 195, 198 
Euhicoria, 217 

Exchange. National Pecan Grow- 
ers'. 153 
Experiments, fertilizer. 91 

Fertilizers, experiments. 90. 91 
influence on composition of nut. 

92, 93 
influence on yields. 91, 92. 93 
mixtures used. 91 
triangular experiment. 91 
quantities for pecans, 94, 95 

Fillers, 118, 119 

Financing organizations, 152 

Food value, pecans, 199, 200 

Forcing chip-buds. 61 
dormant buds, 57 

Fossil pecan. 12 

Frost resistance in spring. 106, 
107, 195 

Frotscher variety, origin, 20 

Fungus, catkin disease. 192 
scab, 182 
wood-rotting. 194 

Fusicladium effusum, 182 

Georgia, yields in. 132 
Germination, variation of, 33 
GJomereJla cinguJata, 191 
Graders, pecan, 129. 130 
Grading pecans, 120, 127 
Graft, cleft, 50 
Grafting bark. 63 
Grafting, first, 17 

revived, 20 

ring-bud, origin. 21. 50 
Grafting-wax, 72 

alcoholic wax, 73 

linseed oil, wax, 73 

liquid wax. 74 

tallow wax, 74 
Greenville soils, 78, 79. 91. 94 
Groups of varieties, 98, 99. 101, 

102, 104 
Groves, pecan, vn 
Growing season, length of, 4 

Harvesting, 122 

Hexagonal method, laying-out or- 
chard. Ill 
Hicoria, 216 



Hicoria, origin of word, 12 

Pecan, largest of hickories, 219 
Pecan varieties, grouped ac- 
cording to sterility, 98, 105 

Hogg, Gov. James, memorial pe- 
can planting, 24 

Halbert, variety, origin, 2S 
original tree, yields, 133 

Holes for trees, 113 

Hybrids, 105 

Imports of nnts, 110 
Indiana variety, origin, 28 
Insects, 161 
Integuments, removed, 206 

JuglandaceJP, 12, 215, 217, 218 

June-bugs, 178 

Knife, budding, 70, 71 
Koerber, 19 

Laspei/resia car y ana, 170 
Leaf case-bearer, 162 
Leaf-spot, 190 

Leucotermes caUfornica, 177 
Light, effect on pecans, 143 
Liming soils, 77 
Linseed oil wax, 73 
Liquid wax. 74 
Locating, orchards, 106 
varieties in orchard, 104 

Market packages, 125 
Marketing, 145 

associations, 146, 147, 148 
agreement, 155 
Markets, opportunity for, 10 
Marshal, Humphrey, 16, 215 
Maturing, season required for 

fruit, 4 
Meat substitutes, pecans, 213, 208 
Mexico, pecans from, on U. S. 

market, 1 
Microsphaera alni, 191 
Microstroma juglandis 7'ol)ustuin, 

Mildew, 191 
Morris, Robert P., 66 
Moth, bud, 168 
Mulch, for nursery, 41 

Natchez, pecan at, 14 
National Exchange, 153 
Native grove, improvement of, 
25, 26 

trees, pecans, 1. 2 
Xazera- viridula, ISO 
Nitrogen, distribution in pecan 
protein, 204 

effect on yield and quality, 93 

forms to use, 95 

function of, 88, 90 
Korfolk soils, 78, 79, 94 
Kursery, blight, 189 

cultivation of, 40, 41 

planting nuts, 40 

removing from, 68 

seedlings for, 32, 34 

soil for, 36 

stock, varieties for, 34 

trees, 108 

trees for an acre, 110, 112, 120 
Nut Growers' Associations, South- 
ern, 23 

Texas, 23, 24 
Nut, production in V. S., 9, 10, 11 

case-bearer, 165 
Nuts, distance to plant, 39 

for stock, 33 

when to plant, 38 

Oil, in pecans, 204, 205 
Oncideres cingulaius, 175 
Orangeburg soils, 78. 79. 92, 93, 94 
Orchards, commercial, rank by 
state, 4, 5 

early, 19 

cropping. 115 

cultivation, 115 

pecan, vi 

size, 4 
Organization of cooperative as- 
sociation, 148, 152 

Pacane, 14 
Packages, 125 
Paper-shell pecan, vii 
Patch-bud, 51, 55, 56, 57 

advantages of, 59 

classes of buds for, 52 

location of, 54, 55 



Patch-bud, season for, 51 

stock for, 52 
Pecan, botany of, 215 

classification of, 16, 17 

description of, 14, 115 

fossil of, 12 

insects, 161 

nomenclature of, 215 

origin of, 12, 13 

origin of word, 12 

varieties of, 221 

Penicant, Jean, 14 
Phosphorus, function of, 88 
Phyllophaga, 178 
Phyllosticta caryae, 189 
Pie, pecan, 214 
Picks, 141 

Pistillate flowers, 99, 100 
Plant-food, from corn crops, 84, 
85, 86 

elements, the less important, 88 

functions of, 88 
Planting, pecan orchard, 106, 113 

distances. 111 
Polishing pecans, 127, 128 
Pollen, 99, 100, 101 

destruction by catkin disease, 
Pollination, 98 
Pooling, 150 

Potassium, function of, 90 
Powdery-mildew, 191 
Pralines, 15, 213 
Pratz, 15 

Prices, stabilizing, 145, 146 
Prince, William, 15 
Production, nuts in U. S., 9 
Propagation, diflaculty of, 32 
Protecting trees, 114 
Protein in pecans, 204 
Proteopteryx hoUana, 168 
Pruning, for dieback, 113-115 
Purchasing trees, 107, 108 

Rafinesque, 216 

Rancidity of pecans, 142, 143 

Recipes, 207 

Records of yields, longtime, 133 

Regularity of yields, 133-137 

Risien, E. E., 12 

Rome variety, origin, 20 

Rosette, 185 

Rough-bark, patch-budding in 52, 

Russell variety, origin, 21 

Salads, pecan, 209 

Sandwiches, pecan, 214 

San Saba variety, origin, 29 

Scab, 182 

Scale insects, 179 

Seedlings, not true to type, 28 

for propagation, 32 

from improved varieties, 34 

growing stock, 32 

height and diameters, 36 

improved varieties from, 28, 29, 

locating buds on, 54 

native groves, care, 26 

preparing for market 

Ridgeway grove, 27 
Sharkley soils, 80 
Sheets for harvesting, 122 
Shelling costs, 141 
Shot-hole borer, 179 
Shucking pecans, 123 
Shuck-worm, 170 
Sinoxylon hasilaris 
Sizes, 129, 130 
Skinner, J. J., 91, 94, 95 
Soaking before cracking, 139 
Soft pork, 205 
Soils, factor in rosette injury, 186 

acid, 76, 77 

fertility indicated by tree 
growth, 82 

for nurseries, 36, 37 

for pecans, 76, 77 

liming, 77, 78 

preparation, 107 

to avoid, 81, 82 

types for pecans, 78, 80 
Spacing trees, 112, 116 
Speculative pecan crop, 22 
Spraying, 195, 197 

outfits, 195, 196 

for scab, 185 
Squarihg the orchard, 108 



Stable manure. S3 

Staking bud shoots, 59, 62, 64, 65 

Staminate flowers. 99. 100 

Standardization of pecan trades, 

Statistics, production and im- 
ports, 9. 11 

Sterility, grouping of varieties, 
9b. 102. 104 

Stink-bng. ISO 

Stocks, seedlings for. 33 

diameter for budding. 35. 36 
height for budding. 35. 36 
improved varieties for. 34, 35 

Storing, pecans. 142 

rancidity development, 142 
temperatures. 142 
vacuimi process, 144 

Stratifying nuts, 38 

Tallow wax, 74 

Tannin, in pecans, 204 

Tap-root. 112 

Temperature for storing. 143 

Termites. 177 

Terracing. IIS 

Texas. Aggie budding knife. 70 
organization of growers. 24 
western pecan production in, 7 

Tifton soils. 7S, 79 

Tip-burn. 194 

Top-working, first, 21 
importance of. 142 
locating the buds. 50 
number of buds for, 50 
preparins: trees for. 43. 44, 45, 

size of trees for, 49 

Twig-girdler, 175 

Utilization of pecans, 198 
Vacuum process, 144 

Van Deman variety, origin, 20, 

Varieties, Gulf coast, 221 
of pecans. 221 
orchard arrangement. 104 
susceptibility to scab. 1S5 
sterility, grouping of. 104 
western srroup, 6 
Viability of pollen, 103 
Vitamines in pecans. 202 
Volume of pound of peoins, 126 

Walford variety, origin 
Walter. Thos.. collection in Brit- 
ish Museum. 16 
Wan2:enheim, study of timber 

trees. 16 
Washington. George, 15, 16 
Wax cloth, 75 

grafting, 72 

string, 75 
Waxing, grafts, 56. 67 
Weather, influence of, 8 

effect on bark sip, 51 
Webworm. 174 
Weevil, 173 
Wenzel. O. J., 66 
Whip-grafting, 68 

advantages of, 69 

method of, 68 

season for. QS 

stocks for. 6S 
Winter-injury. 194 
Wood-lice. 77. 177 

pecan. 221 

rotting fungi. 194 
Wounds, protection of. 48 
Wrapping buds, grafts, 56 

bud wood, 53 

Yields, 130, 131, 134, 133, 134, 
affected by fertilizers, 93 
Texas counties, 7